CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
PRJNTED IN U.SA
The original of tliis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
The Magic Art
of The Magic Art Series
"SOME MODERN CONJURING," "NEW CARD
TRICKS," "A MIND READING
With Numerous Illustrations
Published by the Author
D. H. ALSDORF
To the Memory of My Mother
THE TEA CHESTS OF WANG FOO Frontispiece
THE FAIRYLAND OF MAGIC , 19
SOME ACCESSORIES AND ARTIFICES OF GENERAL; UTILITY . 32
■ Holmes' Tumbler Manipulation 32
The Watch, Handkerchief and Confetti 36
The Egg and Handkerchief 43
The Flying Glass, Watch and Flag 47
How Many Goldfish? 51
Holmes' Tumbler Manipulation on a Chair 54
A Novel Exchange 57
Holmes' Trick Glass Outfit 60
The Bottomless Mirror Glass 61
The' Bottomless Demon Glass 62
The Bottomless Confetti Glass 63
—The Mystic Handkerchief and Tumbler of Confetti 64
Holmes' Crystal Jar Outfit 70
The Crystal Mirror Jar 71
The Crystal Confetti Jar 73
Confetti to Water and Goldfish 74
A Chinese Paradox 76
TRICKS— ORIGINAL AND OTHERWISE 80
A Series of Card Tricks 80
The Torn Card Trick 88
The Harrington Method 89
The Card in the Loaf 93
The Card, Orange and Candle 96
A Hypnotic Experiment 100
The Cards, Coins and Glass 104
Knarf's Coin and Ball of Wool 107
The Coin and Orange Trick 109
A Dye Tube "Wrinkle" 113
Knarf's "The Flag Between" 114
The Handkerchief Sword 115
Improved Candle and Handkerchief Trick 118
Holmes' Color Changing Egg 120
(^Christopher's Egg and Bag Trick 123
The Paper Balls and Plates ; .130
The Chinese Marble Trick 132
The New Spirit Handkerchief 134
Gloves to Dove 138
The Dove and Hat Trick I4u
The Contrary Fluids 141
The David Bell Funnel 143
The Watch and Pill Boxes 145
The Mysterious Dove Pans 148
The Tale of a Rat 151
-The Tea Chests of Wang Foo 157
WORKING UP AN ACT 171
Fun, Deviltry and Magic 172
A Suit-Case Act 203
"The Magical Man" 21'i'
The Magic Art vii
In presenting Volume I of The Magic Art Series
to the conjuring fraternity, I make no apologies for
the inclusion of certain known tricks and devices.
The book is not intended so much for the collector of
magical literature as for that great host of aspiring
amateurs, who, seeking after enlightenment in the
world of conjuring, must turn to its literature for
practical instruction. With this constantly growing
demand in view, I have selected those tricks which
best suit my purpose for practical instruction, be they
old or new, and which I feel certain will please the
average entertainer in this field. Some of the items
are inserted by request such as material used in pre-
vious hand-books of mine, and in most cases I have
given later and better versions of such tricks. This
also applies to several items from Roterberg's "New
Era Card Tricks," "The Modern Wizard," and "Lat-
ter Day Tricks," all three volumes of which are now
out of print, and to which I hold the copyright.
The entire purpose of the present book, in a nut-
shell, is to give clear, practical instruction in conjur-
ing in a manner that will enable the amateur to
advance in, and be a credit to, his art. Previous
efforts of mine in the arrangement of complete magic
acts have met with such hearty approval, that I feel
viii The Magic Art
certain the present work will prove of some value to
the student seeking such assistance.
Subsequent volumes in The Magic Art Series will
be uniformly bound with the present one, and their
general makeup, as to style, thickness, etc., will be
the, same, insuring, in the due course of time, a com-
plete library on the Art of Magic.
Kansas City, Mo.,
October 15, 1920.
THE HISTORY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF
By Heney Ridgely Evans, Litt. D.
Author of "The Old and the New Magic," "The House
of the Sphinx," etc.
"Come, show us of thy magic, Egyptian; * * * wiiat
canst thou do! Hast thou no new trick? By Serapis! if thou
canst conjure as well as thou canst prophesy, thou shalt have
a place at court. * * *"
"Nay," I answered, "all tricks are old; but there are some
forms of magic to be rarely used, and with discretion, that may
be new to thee, O Queen!" — H. Rider-Haggard: Cleopatra.
As a boy I stood in awe of the enterprising gentle-
man who condescended to post bills in our town. I
loved to watch him, slap against the fences the flam-
boyant three-sheet theatrical and circus posters. One
Saturday morning — ah, that delicious, never-to-be-for-
gotten morning — I saw my friend, the bill sticker, paste
upon a fence the most unique lithograph in the world,
which excited my youthful mind and made me think
that the Arabian Nights' Entertainments had been
transported from the Orient to good old Georgetown,
D. C, where I spent such happy years. The poster in
question represented the necropolis of Memphis. Loom-
ing up in the background was the Sphinx, majestic and
weird-looking. In front of the stone monster stood a
gentleman in evening dress (strange costume for an
Egyptian desert) . He was engaged in taking from a
silk hat all sorts of objects, animate and inanimate,
such as rabbits, bowls of gold fish, ribbons, flags, reti-
cules, flowers, doves, chickens, etc. An antique brazier
with the smoke of burning incense rising from it was
depicted to the left of him. At his right stood Me-
X The Magic Art
phisto, in the traditional red costume, pointing approv-
ingly at him, as if to say : "A disciple of mine ; how
do you like him?" Mephisto and his pupil were sur-
rounded by a mystic circle of skulls and cabalistic
The poster was labeled in red letters : "Herrmann
the Great ; the necromantic comedian, in his incompar-
able entertainment of magic, mirth, and mystery."
A magician ! I thought of Aladdin and the Genii.
The stupendous picture plunged me into ecstacies of
delight. I vowed to go and see the wizard who could
perform such feats. The following Monday evening
I was seated among the gallery gods in the old
National Theater of Washington, D. C., awaiting with
breathless excitement the rise of the green baize cur-
tain. Finally, the bell tinkled, the orchestra began a
dreamy waltz, and the curtain ascended, revealing not
an Egyptian desert with a mysterious Sphinx, but a
brilliantly lighted drawing room, set with tables in red
and gold, upon which lay some curious apparatus.
"Pshaw!" I exclaimed in supreme disgust, "no des-
ert, no devil, no Sphinx (I was daft on Sphinxes in
those days), no nuthin'!" Yes, I confess to the two
negatives; all school boys are ungrammatical. They
glory in it. Presently there entered a gentleman in
evening dress, the replica of the figure depicted on the
poster. About his neck, suspended from a red ribbon,
was, a jewel of some kind, which I afterward learned
was a chivalpc decoration given to him by the King
of Spain, entitling him to be called ChevaHer. He was
the Chevalier Alexander Herrmann, the famous necro-
mancer. He said something in broken English and be-
gan his performance. I began to sit up and take no-
The Magic Art xi
tice. My previous disgust was turned into wonder and
delight. I forgot all about the pictured Sphinx and the
Devil. Here was a real, up-to-date Sphinx and a Me-
phisto, rolled into one.
Some years ago I went to see a performance by
Imro Fox that pleased me very much. The curtain
rose on a gloomy cavern, in the middle of which stood
a smoking, caldron, fed by witches a to Macbeth. An
aged necromancer, habited in a long robe covered with
cabalistic characters, entered. He made certain incan-
tations, whereupon hosts of demons or elementals ap-
peared and danced a weyrd ceremonial dance about the
caldron. Suddenly amid a crash of thunder and a
blinding flash of lightning, the wizard's cave was meta-
morphosed into a twentieth century drawing room,
fitted up for a conjuring seance, and the decrepit sor-
cerer was changed into a smiling gentleman in evening
dress, who began his up-to-date presentation of modern
magic. He disclaimed all pretensions to the occult, and
attributed his effects entirely to sleight-of-hand and
ingenious mechanism. In this exhibition was epito-
mized the entire history of the magic art. Beginning in
ancient times as an actual effort to propitiate the pow-
ers of light and darkness, to suspend at will the laws of
Nature, to discover the destiny of man in the move-
ments of the stars, to dispel sickness and the plague by
incantations, to ward off demoniacal influences and the
like, magic gradually assumed its present form as an
amusing entertainment based on dexterity of hand and
the wonders of optics, acoustics, electricity^ and me-
chanics, with nothing supernatural about it.
Magic in ancient times was closely allied to religion
and the practice of the healing art. Egypt, Chaldea
xii The Magic Art
and Babylonia were the classic homes of sorcery and
magical astrology. The Old Testament contains many
allusions to necromancy, as witness the feats attributed
to the Egyptian thaumaturgists and the story of Saul
and the Witch of Endor. But the leaders of Jewish or-
thodox thought were opposed to such practices, and
went so far as to persecute sorcerers with fire and
sword. "The old magic," says Dr. Carus, "is sorcery,
or considering the impossibility of genuine sorcery,
the attempt to practice sorcery. It is based upon the
pre-scientific world-conception, which in its primitive
stage is called animism, imputing to nature a spiritual
life analogous to our own spirit, and peopling the
world with individual personalities, spirits, ghosts, gob-
lines, gods, devils, ogres, gnomes and fairies."
Magic is usually divided into (1) White Magic, or
the evocation of angels and beneficent powers; (2)
Black Magic, or the summoning of demons; and (3)
Natural Magic, or feats performed by dexterity and
mechanical appliances, etc. Although believing im-
plicitly in white and black magic, the medicine men,
spirit doctors, and hierophants of olden times did not
disdain to use natural means to overawe and surprise
The art of natural magic dates back to the remotest
antiquity. There is an Egyptian papyrus in the British
Museum which chronicles a magical seance given by
a certain Tchatcha-em-ankh before King Khufu, B. C,
3766. The manuscript says of the wizard : "He know-
eth how to bind on a head which hath been cut off;
he knoweth how to make a lion follow him as if led
by a rope; and he knoweth the number of the stars
of the house (constellation) of Thoth." It will be seen
The Magic Art xiii
from this that the decapitation trick was in vogue ages
ago, while the experiment with the lion, which is un-
questionably a hypnotic feat, shows hypnotism to be
very ancient indeed. Ennemoser, in his History of
Magic, devotes considerable space to Egyptian thau-
maturgy, especially to the wonders wrought by animal
magnetism, which in the hands of the priestly hierar-
chy, must have been miracles indeed to the uninitiated.
All that was known of science was in the possession
of the guardians of the temples. An acquaintance with
stage machinery and the science of optics and acous-
tics was necessary to the production of the many mar-
velous effects exhibited. Every temple in Egypt and
Greece was a veritable storehouse of natural magic.
Thanks to ancient writers like Heron of Alexandria,
Philo of Byzantium, and the Fathers of the early Chris-
tian Church, we are able to fathom many of the secrets
of the old thaumaturgists. The hierophants were
adepts in the art of phantasmagoria.
When Christianity became the state religion of the
Roman Empire, the old temple worship with its mystic
rites and ceremonies was abolished. The grotesque
gods of Egypt fled in affright before the more spiritual
conceptions of the Christian faith. Like the classic
gods of Greece and Rome they were metamorphosed
into demons by the Christians. The thaumaturgists of
the temples were scattered far and wide. Many of them
eked out a living by the practice of astrology and divin-
ation. With the waning of the ancient temple rites we
see the gradual rise of natural' magic and prestidigita-
tion divorced from the supernatural. But the common
people, who were more or less steeped in the super-
stitions of the past, still regarded the itinerant sleight-
xiv The Magic Art
of -hand performers as men possessed with demoniacal
powers. The better to enhance the effect of their tricks
the nomadic conjurers of the Middle Ages and later,
often pretended to be aided by spirits, thereby render-
ing themselves liable to punishment by the religious
and secular authorities. Treatises combating these pre-
tensions to genuine magic were issued from time to
time by students of natural phenomena, the scientists
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Roger Bacon, in his epistle De secretis operihvs artis
et naturae et de nullitate magiae, says : "Whatever is
beyond the ordinary course of nature or art is either su-
perhuman or a pretence and full of fraud, for there are
men who create illusions by rapidity of the movements
of their hands, or by the assumption of various voices,
or by ingenious apparatus, or by performing in the
dark-, or by means of confederacy, thus showing to men
many wonderful things which do not exist. Anyone
who investigates the matter will find the world full of
such things, for jugglers perform many deceptive feats
by the dexterity of their hands."
Bacon does not discredit the existence of real magic
but combats the false ascription to it of phenomena
that are explicable by natural means. He was one of
the early workers in science, and possessed a laboratory
where physical experiments were conducted. The com-
mon people and many churchmen accused him of sor-
cery and he was compelled tp go to Rome to clear him-
self of the charges brought against him.
In the sixteenth century conjurers wandered from
place to place, exhibiting their tricks at fairs, in barns,
and at the castles of noblemen. They were little more
than strolling gypsies or vagabonds. Reginald Scott,
The Magic Art xv
in his Discovcrie of Witchcraft (1584), enumerates
some of the stock feats of these mountebanks. The list
includes "swallowing a knife; burning a card and re-
producing it from the pocket of a spectator; passing
a coin from one pocket to another ; converting money
into counters, or counters into money ; conveying money
into the hand of another person; making a coin pass
through a table or vanish from a handkerchief; tying
a knot and undoing it by the power of words ; taking
beads from a string, the ends of which are held fast
by another person; making a coin to pass from one
box to another ; turning wheat into flour by the power
of words ; burning a thread and making it whole again ;
pulling ribbons from the mouth ; thrusting a knife into
the head of a man; putting a ring through the cheek,
and cutting off a person's head and restoring it to its
The seventeenth century is the age of the stroll-
ing mountebank, who performed wherever he could
get an audience — in stable, batnyard, street, or fair.
From him to the prestidigitator of the theater is a long
step, but no longer than from the barnstorming actor
to the artist of the well-appointed playhouse. There is
evolution in everything. It was not until the eighteenth
century that conjuring became a legitimate profession.
This was largely owing to' the fact that men of gentle
birth, well versed in the science of the age, took up
the magic wand, and gave the art dignity and respec-
It was not until the eighteenth century tha,t magic
was shorn of its charlatanism. The celebrated Cheva-
lier Pinetti, an Italian professor of physics, gained
great fame as a prestidigitator. His tricks and auto-
xvi The Magic Art
mata were copied by hosts of successors. After Pinetti
came Robert-Houdin, whose romantic life is recorded in
his memoirs. Jean-Eugene Robert, known to fame as
Robert-Houdin, was born at Blois, France, on Decem-
ber 6, 1805, and died at St. Gervais, a suburb of Blois,
on June 13, 1871.
The crowning event of Houdin's career was his em-
bassy to Algeria to overcome the influence of the Mara-
bout priests over the ignorant Arabs. The Marabouts,
or Mohammedan miracle-workers, were continually
fanning the flames of discontent and rebellion against
French domination. The French Government asked
Houdin to go to Algeria and perform before the Arabs
in order to show them that a French wizard, using only
sleight-of-hand and the resources of science, was
greater than the Marabouts, who pretended to occult
powers and accomplished but simple feats. His success
was most gratifying. The mission over, he returned to
France and settled down at St. Gervais, near Blois,
having ceded his theater to his brother-in-law, Pierre
Chocat (M. Hamilton) . He had amassed a handsome
fortune as a magician. In his retirement he devoted
himself to scientific research. The application of elec-
tricity to the running of clocks was his specialty.
The question has often been asked: What is the
oldest sleight-of-hand trick in the world? It is a dif-
ficult one to answer, but if a consensus of opinion
were taken on the subject the reply would probably
be in favor of the cups-and-balls. Angelo Lewis, in
his Modern Magic, proclaims this feat to be "the
The Magic Art xvii
ground work of all legerdemain." The paraphernalia
used in performing the trick is very simple, viz : Three
tin cups, an ordinary wand, a lot of small cork balls, and
some large balls stuffed with hair and covered with
cloth. The object of the experiment is to produce ap-
parently the balls from the wand, known as Jacob's
Rod, and make them successively appear and disap-
pear underneath the cups; the combinations that can
be formed are seemingly endless. "It is by no means
uncommon," says Mr. Lewis, "to find spectators who
have received riiore elaborate feats with comparative
indifference, become interested, and even enthusiastic,
over a brilliant manipulation of the cups-and-balls."
Among latter day conjurers who excelled in this trick
were Charles Bertram, Adrian Plate and Krieger,
whose clever presentations I witnessed with great
pleasure. The cup-and-ball trick is not suited for the
modern stage, because the "spectators are seated too
far away from the magician to appreciate the effects.
But when the conjurer performs in a small room or
hall the experiment is an ideal one. A bastard form
of the cups-and-balls is known as "thimble-rig," which
is used as a means of fleecing the unsophisticated rustic
at country fairs and upon race courses. The mathemat-
icians Ozanam and Guyot did not disdain to write
treatises on cup-and-ball conjuring.* All books on the
art of magic contain chapters on the subject.
Eosco was the classic performer of the cup-and-
ball trick. A Parisian newspaper thus announced one
of his entertainments: "The famous Bosco, who can
conjure away a house as easily as a nutmeg, is about
to give his performances at Paris, in which some mira-
*Guyot: Recreations Mathematiques et Physiques.
xviii The Magic Art
culous tricks will be executed." This allusion to the
nutmeg has reference to the magician's cup-and-ball
trick, nutmegs frequently being used instead of cork
balls. Speaking of this remarkable man, Robert-Hou-
din says: "Bosco is, beyond all question, the conjurer
who has achieved the greatest success with the cups-
and-balls. He gave special prominence to this trick,
and performed it with all the gravity which he would
have displayed over a piece of genuine magic." Hou-
din, in his Confidences of a Prestidigitator, gives an
account of Bosco's stage setting, his peculiar costume
and his manner of introducing the cups-and-balls.
Magic has always been a popular form of amuse-
ment in the United States. Many of our native-born
conjurers have attained great eminence, such as Harry
Kellar, Harry Hoiidini, and Howard Thurston. Thurs-
ton, the successor of Kellar, is keeping up the best tra-
ditions of the stage, while Houdini works a field pecu-
liarly his own, that of handcuff releases and thrilling
escape acts. Kell?ir, the dean of American magicians,
has retired from the stage, after a long career of un-
bounded success. In closing I wish to acknowledge my
indebtedness for many hints in the preparation of this
introduction to my friend, F. Trewey, the famous pres-
tidigitator, juggler and pantomimist of Asnieres,
THE MAGIC ART
The Fairyland of Magic
THE art of natural magic comes down to us from
the remotest antiquity. Derived from the Per-
sian magi, meaning a caste of priests, philosophers
and magicians, among the ancient Persians, it was
synonomous with necromancy and witchcraft, and
many lives were sacrificed by fire and sword for the
supposed practice of a power beyond the conception
of the human mind at that early period. The tem-
ples of Egypt teemed with magic and mystery. The
Greeks and Romans not only possessed great knowl-
edge of the art, but were adepts in ledgerdemain.
And thus magic worked its way down through the
barbarous times of the Middle Ages. The dawn of
the eighteenth century marked a new era in the prog-
ress of conjuring. Men of education, with a trend
toward science, entered the profession, and their untir-
ing efforts ultimately lifted the art of magic to the
high level of legitimate entertainment that it now
occupies. Not, however, until 1844 did the era of
modern raagic dawn. In this year Robert-Houdin,
now recognized the world over as thd "Father of
Modern Conjuring," inaugurated his Fantastic Eve-
nings at the Palais Royal, Paris. His reformation
from the charlatanry of the past ages astounded the
world, for he presented tricks of a different order and
in a different manner than anything ever before
dreamed of. The suspiciously.draped tables of his
predecessors (employed for the concealnient of con-
federates) were displaced by light, skeleton-built
tables, elegantly appointed; but perhaps the most
20 The Magic Art
startling innovation of all was his adoption of evening
dress instead of the orthodox flowing robes of the con-
jurers of olden time.
Today, stripped of all religious significance,
magic stands forth as one of the most fascinating, yet
one of the most incomprehensible, arts known to man-
kind — a mere fraud, as it were, openly professed and
as pleasantly accepted — for the magic of today is a
never failing source of interest and entertainment.
Thus it will be seen that the history of this most
fascinating art is a deep ^and absorbing pne ; in fact,
to thread out its many phases so deeply buried in the
past would well i-epay one's efforts many times over.
But I must leave this to the student's fancy, and pass
on to the subject undoubtedly foremost in the reader's
mind — the Fairyland of Magic, a land full of bewitch-
ing surprises^the pastime of magic.
Great as was the reformation in Robert-Houdin's
day, the advancement of modern magic along scien-
tific lines within the past quarter of a century has
been still more remarkable. The secrets of the mod-
ern conjurer are no longer locked within the bosoms
of a comparative few, and any persevering person,
possessed of average intelligence, and a willingness to
comply with the cardinal precepts of the art, may
easily enter this vast Land of Mystery and partake of
the pleasant surprises there awaiting him. And
more. Study, recreation, fascinating entertainment
for one's friends, as well as the sharpening of the
student's mental faculties — all these come to the devo-
tee of conjuring.
In the beginning I can not^too strongly impress
upon the neophyte the importance of beginning right.
The Magic Art 21
What is magic? What course is necessary to become
a successful conjurer, or, at least, to enable one to
perform a few tricks well?
The novice should look into the theoretical side
of the subject before he attempts its practice. Not
only will he make better headway by so doing, but he
will acquire a better understanding of the art; he
will take up its practice with a better knowledge of
its requirements; and the fascination of its many per-
plexing problems will steadily grow upon him.
If you have already purchased some magical lit-
erature, you are probably no better off than the aver-
age amateur. In other words, you are quite at sea
so far as taking the right course to fit yourself for
the proper presentation of at least a short programme
of conjuring tricks. The fault lies not so much with
the books as with yourself. You have probably
obtained a fair knowledge of the principles of "sleight-
of-hand," hastily passed over in the reading, and hur-
ried, on with feverish excitement to learn the secret
of this or that trick which has heretofore baffled you
at the performances of professional magicians. You
have practiced, and practiced hard, for a time, on cer-
tain "palms" and "passes," "without which," so the
books have told you, "no one can become proficient in
conjuring;" only to tire* of the monotony of such prac-
tice after a time, and cast the subject from your mind
as being too difficult, or requiring too much hard
work, to be devoted to a mere "hobby."
Now, as a matter of fact, is anything attained
without work? I know of nothing in the way of rec-
reation (or a "hobby," if you prefer it) that so well
repays one for his time and pains as the study and
22 The Magic Art
practice of conjuring, when followed in a practical
manner. The possibilities are endless.
To turn to the practical study of magic, I am
positive that it can be acquired by anyone who is will-
ing to devote sufficient patience and practice to its
requirements. Do not be afraid of that word prac-
tice. The majority of books lay such stress upon this
requirement there is little wonder the aspiring ama-
teur often becomes discouraged, at the outset. Prac-
tice is one of the essentials for successfully attaining
proficiency in sleight-of-hand, just the same as in the
acquirement of music, or any other art ; but the ama-
teur must first prepare himself for practice.
I do not wish my statements with respect to pres-
ent day conjuring literature to be misconstrued, as I
do not for one moment consider myself in a position
to criticise or pose as an authority upon the subject.
On the contrary, I would most strongly recommend
the novice to obtain at least a small library of books
on the subject, and study them well, leaving, for the
time being, the practice of the tricks themselves for
later acquirement, devoting his time in the beginning
to the theoretical side of magic. In this respect the
more knowledge he receives of the fundamental prin-
ciples of sleight-of-hand, including such important
branches as misdirection, elocution, etc., the more
rapid will be his progress, and the more lasting his
fascination for the art. I have yet to see the book
dealing with this subject that has not imparted some
ideas well worth retaining. Conjuring literature is
steadily increasing each year, but the literature of the
present day covers practically only the "latest novel-
ties," which, at the outset, the student will not re-
The Magic Art 23
quire; in fact, they would only serve to confuse him
through lack of detail. Later on, as progress is made,
the "novelties" may be considered, at which time it
will be found helpful to keep in touch with the dealers
for the latest books on the subject, and subscribe to
one or more good conjuring magazines, in order to
keep pace with the art.
Although I have said that any person of average
intelligence may take up conjuring by careful observ-
ance of its cardinal precepts, it would be superfluous
to claim that all who do so will succeed even in the
slightest degree. Just as in any other art, there are
individuals who would never, in a life time, pass' mus-
ter as the most unpretentious conjurer, through their
total unfitness for the work. It can not be disputed
that the gentle art of hocus-pocus takes a full meas-
ure of "nerve" for its successful practice, but if the
neophyte, who. is about to take the step for pleasure or
for profit, will first devote a little intelligent study
to the subject, and thus obtain the full import of the
word, his chances for becoming a successful conjurer
will be strengthened many times over.
Again I say, what is miagic? Is it the mere me-
chanical working of a piece of apparatus with whose
true construction the audience is not aware? Is it
magic when the conjurer holds his auditors spellbound
by mere digital dexterity? Neither of these astounds
or mystifies the average spectator without the proper
dramatic element to weave the mystic spell. If the
reader ever witnessed the inimitable Alexander Herr-
mann (Herrmann the Great) in his day, he will read-
ily recall the atmosphere of charm, of perfect ease,
and baffling mystery that surrounded the great necro-
24 The Magic Art
mancer's every move. His very presence on the stagii
lent an awesome feeling of something beyond mere
trickery acquired by years of untiring practice. In
digital dexterity it is said that no man was his equal,
yet without this great understanding of his art, Herr-
mann's digital dexterity would have counted little.
The proper presentation of a conjuring trick,
therefore, consists of more than the mere mastery of
its mechanical working, even though such trick in-
volves the acquirement of some difficult "palm" or
"pass." Not only must the trick be performed well
in a mechanical sense of the word, but unless the per-
former carries it through with proper manner, ges-
ture, and arrangement of conversation, much of the
effect is lost upon his auditors. Right here, no doubt,
is where the average amateur "falls down" at the very
beginning. He devotes practically all of that prac-
tice to the bare mechanical working of the trick, and
ignores altogether the manner, gesture, and arrange-
ment of conversation, i. e., the plot on which the
trick should be built.
In order to conceal his real doings, the per-
former arranges his conversation to divert the minds
of his auditors, and by such means skillfully accom-
plishes those secret things upon which the success of
his trick depends. Misdiiection, therefore, is one of
the most essential requirements in the practice of
The old theory that "the quickness of the hand
deceives the eye" has long since been exploded. On
the contrary, the conjurer's manner should be one of
perfect naturalness and ease. For the drawing-room,
especially, his style should be neither profound, mys-
The Magic Art 25
terious, nor burlesque to a marked degree, but rather
the natural conversational. His "patter," 1. e., the
conversation, with which he clothes his tricks, should
be bright, witty, without bordering on smartness (iJ:
he is naturally witty, so much the better), and enter-
taining, at the same time carefully arranged along
some well defined "plot" for each and every trick,
with due regard for the successful misdirection of
his auditors at the psychological moment. Above all,
he should take his time, both in speech and act, giv-
ing those present the fullest opportunity to compre-
hend just what effect he is striving to attain for their
Let us take it for granted that the student has
acquainted himself with the theoretical side of the
magic art, through the channels of current literature
on the subject, or otherwise: that he understands to a
reasonable extent what arts and sciences will be
called into use for the proper presentation of a series
of tricks. It now remains for him to learn the me-
chanical working of such tricks that he may select,
and the actual presentation of same. There are tricks
with cards, coins, billiard balls, handkerchiefs, eggs,
and even doves and rabbits; tricks depending upon
chemical means, and others upon mathematics and
optics. Some call for pure sleight-of-hand, while oth-
ers are so mechanical in their working that the veriest
child could operate them, so far as mere operation is
Out of this vast Land of Mystery the amateur
must select those tricks best suited to his own individ-
ual skill and style of working. The books you have
obtained will tell you that this and that "palm" and
26 The Magic Art
"pass" are essential to your success. This is very-
true, in one sense of the word, for if yuu attempt
tricks depending upon such sleights, you will most as-
suredly require them. It is the ability to define what
tricks are best suited to the skill of the beginner, aa
well as the individual, that has much to do with his
progress and interest in the art. If the opportunity
is yours to take a few lessons from an experienced
magician, by all means take advantage of It; and the
same applies to a course of dramatics in some good
Probably one of the greatest drawbacks in the
beginner's progress is too close attention to the ortho-
dox methods of conjuring, when the knowledge is ob-
tained from books alone; in other words, he does not
seek sufficiently after originality. With present
day audiences it is not so much the trick itself that
"takes," even be it ever so old, as the manner in which
it is presented. In the present book I shall mention
tricks that have been before the public manj'^ years,-in
some instances since the days of Robert-Houdin, for
we can not get away from the old masters in conjur-
ing any more than in music or any other art. Many
of these tricks are considered "professional" tricks, but
the amateur will have no great difficulty in mastering
them providing he will first confine his efforts to
those tricks within his skill, and thus prepare him-
self, by degrees, for the higher class of conjuring.
The beginner should bear in mind there is in-
variably more ways than one for obtaining a certain
effect, and this need not necessarily be obtained by
pure sleight-of-hand. The sooner he gets the idea
out of his head that, to be a successful magician, he
The Magic Aet 27
must resort to sleight-of-hand exclusively, the more
rapid will be his progress; for sleight-of-hand is not
always the best way for obtaining an effect, and. as a
rule, not the easiest. It matters not what means you
employ, so long as the result is what you are striving
And right here I want to pass a few remarks on
a problem that is pretty sure to confront the novice
at the very beginning. -If he has purchased a few
books on conjuring, and studied them more or less, he
will note upwards of half a dozen methods for obtain-
ing certain effects. They are all clever and effective,
but which method is the best? I believe this question
confronted the writer more than any other during his
early studies of magic. Professor Hoffmann, in his
book, "Later Magic," states in connection with the
multiplicity of appliances for the same purpose:
"Which of all these is the best? * * * the method
which a conjurer finds he can work most satisfactor-
ily is, for him, the best, though there may be half a
dozen 'novelties' of later date for the same purpose.
In point of effect, by all means seek after novelty, but
in regard to artificial aids, it is by no means a cer-
tainty that the later appliance, however ingenious,
will fulfill its purpose any better than, or even as
well, as the good old fake, whose use custom has made
second nature. Do not therefore jump at a 'latest
novelty,' but test it very carefully before abandoning
an old one in its favor."
And too much stress can not be laid on these
words. Adopt the method that is best suited to the
individwal. Because the great magician So-and-so
performs a certain trick in a certain way is no rea-
28 The Magic Aet
son that you must do it precisely the same. Still, on
the other hand, it is sometimes advisable for the ama-
teur conjurer to acquire more than one method for
accomplishing the same effect. The reason is obvious.
In drawing-room work he appears more or less before
the same audiences, and he is therefore compelled,
oftentimes, to adopt new means for presenting the
tricks in his repertoire. With a little study and inge-
nuity, however, this is easily done in most cases. For
instance, in the pretty trick of the "Color Changing
Handkerchiefs," the effect is invariably identical in
all versions, yet almost every performer today has
his own particular method of working. By this it will
be seen that it is not the effect that must be altered
to suit the occasion, but the means by which such
effect is obtained.
We now come to one of the most important
branches of the Magic Art, — the "patter," i. e., the
conversation, with which the magician clothes the
working of his tricks. I have already made reference
to the importance of this branch of conjuring, but too
much stress can not be laid upon it, for undoubtedly
it is the most neglected by the aspiring amateur. No
matter how expert or finished the amateur (or the
professional either, for that matter) may be in the
execution of his tricks, more than half their effect is
lost upon the audience if his patter is poorly arranged
and delivered in a clumsy, school-boy fashion.
Not only does a careful arrangement of patter,
properly delivered, add the "finishing touch" to a
magical experiment, but it is most essential in misdi-
recting the attention of the audience from the things
you do not want them to see.
The Magic Art 29
Speaking before an audience may, or may not,
be a secondary consideration with you, but in conjur-
ing the performer must practically accomplish two
things at one and the same time : he must have his
lines at the tip of his tongue for the misdirection and
entertainment of his audience, while his own atten-
tion is devoted to the execution of the tricks he has
undertaken, even though his movements may be
directly the reverse to what his patter leads his audi-
ence to infer.
Acquire the habit of using patter from the begin-
ning, even in your practice. Make it. short and to
the point. There appears to be a strong impression
among amateur conjurers that to misdirect an audi-
ence requires an endless flow of "talk" of the rapid
fire variety, but no greater mistake could be made.
Take your time, from your opening address to the dis-
missal of your audience. Do not make a tiresome dis-
course on a subject of little moment to your auditors,
and, above all, let your remarks be delivered in a
'perfectly natural manner, as if they were not prear-
ranged at all.
If possible, take at least a few lessons in elocu-
tion. This will be of more downright value to you
than months of study and practice by yourself.
When you have mastered the working part of a
trick, sit down and compose an accompaniment of ap-
propriate patter, — clothe it, as it were, into a finished
article of conjuring. To the beginner, originality
can not, of course, be attained at the outset. If you
have followed my advice, and purchased a small library
of magical books, you will find therein many examples
of patter for various kinds of tricks, which, by a little
30 The Magic Art
revision, may be made to answer the requirements of
your own programme. By this means you will not
only get an idea of the proper use of patter, but will
soon find yourself in a position to acquire a style of
your own, which you should most certainly do at the
By a careful study of the patter used by leading
professionals, it will be noted that conciseness is es-
pecially observed, yet perfectly comprehensible and
entertaining ; at the same time being so arranged that
the misdirection of the audience is cleverly effected.
When you have drawn up the patter for a trick,
try it as you run through the performance of the trick
itself. This will show many defects that should be
corrected. Then try it over and over again, each time
improving it a little, until it sounds right, and enables
you to deliver it in a natural manner. Eliminate all
words or phrases that sound strained or out of place.
Having arranged your patter satisfactorily, for
the time being, at least, the next step is to commit
it so thoroughly to memory that you can deliver it
freely while your mind is occupied with the actual
performance of the trick. This will be found quite
a different thing than merely running over the lines
with notes to prompt you, and it will take some little
time and perseverance to properly fit yourself for
the proper presentation of each and every trick in
But bear in mind one fact: There is always
room for improvement, and the successful conjurer is
the one who is constantly adding a touch here and
there to the weak points in his show, both as regards
patter and the tricks themselves. A good trick does
The Magic Art 31
not necessarily constitute a glittering array of appa-
ratus or adeptness in sleight-T>f-hand. The perform-
er's manner, gesture and conversation have consid-
erab 13 to do with it^? success.
Some Accessories and Artifices of General
IN this chapter I shall describe several pieces of ap-
paratus, as well as certain clever subterfuges,
adapted to a large range of uses in conjuring.
I have always advocated the purchase of such
"general utility" apparatus by the amaieur, for it not
only offers him a wide range of effects, but will tax
his ingenuity in working out new combinations.
The Magic Pistol, the Changing Bag, the Drawer
Box, the Mirror Glass, the Bottomless Glass, and
many similar devices all come under the head of gen-
eral utility apparatus, and are regularly stocked by
most dealers. Provided with some of these, and es-
pecially a combination of trick glassware, any ama-
teur with a practical turn of mind can arrange a very
satisfactory conjuring entertainment.
The author takes pleasure in acquainting his read-
ers with three very useful combinations of trick glass-
ware, each of which is adapted to a wide range of
effects, quite different from the other. The value of
such combination outfits is threefold. First, many
different effects are made possible; second, by com-
bining several similar principles, the duplication of
certain parts is done away with; and third, economy
in the purchase price.
Holmes' Tumbler Manipulation
In conjuring, substitution is one of the many im-
portant factors which enter into the success of the
The Magic Art 33
wizard's mysterious feats. The conjurer of olden
time boldly draped his tables to the floor for the con-
cealment of confederates, who performed frequent sub-
stitution of articles secretly passed to them; for the
tricks of that early period invariably hinged upon
these, and kindred, expedients. Latter day conjurers,
while doing away with the heavily draped tables and
confederates of their predecessors, as well as the
wholesale use of secret exchanges of objects entering
into their experiments, are still confronted with the
necessity of an occasional substitution, which, in the
case of objects too bulky for palming, are exchanged
with the aid of a servante on the back of the table.
In the several tricks next following I shall out-
line an original principle of my own, involving a spe-
cial Black Art table and the secret exchange of one or
more objects in the most subtle manner; said exchange
being accomplished through the agency of the con-
jurer's friend, the glass tumbler. The several move-
ments essential to its success are so commonplace and
natural that, with anything like reasonable care, de-
tection is impossible. This principle is of greatest
value in so-called transposition tricks involving the
use of small objects, such as watches, rings, handker-
chiefs, coins, etc., and possesses the unique feature that
the objects making such invisible flight may, in many
cases, be borrowed from the audience, and everything
may be freely inspected at the conclusion of the trick
without giving a clue to the methods employed.
The suggestions here laid down are subject to
much variation. In fact, wh§p pnce the reader has
34 The Magic Art
acquainted himself with this novel principle, he will
doubtless find many good uses for it, according to
his own ideas and requirements.
The author first revealed this original system of
tumbler manipulation in his hand-book, "Some Mod-
ern Conjuring," published in 1909, since which time
sundry eiffective additions and improvements have
been added, which are now presented to the fraternity.
I shall first describe the special Black Art table,
which is not only essential to the system about to be
explained, but is adapted to many other good uses.
This table top really differs very little from others
of the Black Art type, but its size and the particular
location of its wells are essential, hence the necessity
of a description.
The top is only 12x15 inches in size, and I mount
it on a good, substantial table base, to secure good
stability. There is considerable advantage to be
gained by the conjurer, in certain tricks, by the em-
ployment of a small table top. For one thing, with
the surface of the table limited in space, the per-
former oftentimes finds a necessary excuse for pick-
ing up or putting down various objects thereon, with-
out exciting suspicion. But the main thing in em-
ploying the small top for my Tumbler Manipulation
is to enable me to keep the objects employed at the
front of the table in view of my spectator^, and at
the same time permit me to stand close to the table
and perform the necessary manipulation without too
great an arm reach. The height of the table is also
carefully adjusted to prevent awkward movements.
The Magic Art
If my fellow conjurers have never used a small Black
Art top for manipulative tricks which employ a table,
I can highly recommend the same.
My 12xl5-inch top is, of course, covered with the
conventional black silk velvet, with a sort of checker-
board design laid off with old ivory colored ribbon
one-quarter inch wide. I prefer the old ivory ribbon
to that of a gold color, as the contrast against the
black velvet is much stronger. In order to obtain
two openings of unequal size in the table top, and
still conceal their presence by the aid of a checker-
board design, the rows of ivory ribbon are, of neces-
sity, closer together near the front of the table top,
widening out as they approach the large opening near
the back. But, owing to the laws of perspective, this
36 The Magic Aet
irregularity in the design is never noticed, or, in fact,
cam it be discovered at a little; distance from the
table. Fig. 1 shows the location of the two wells, the
larger of which, placed close to the rear edge of the
top, is some three inches square. The smaller opening
is close to the front edge, in the extreme right hand
corner as I stand behind the table. This latter open-
ing measures two inches square. The bag in the
larger well is some four inches deep; that in the
smaller well being but three inches. A five-inch bro-
caded plush drape completely encircles the top.
The Watch, Handkerchief, and Confetti
The effect of this mystifying little trick is as fol-
lows: A lady's borrowed handkerchief and watch
are deposited in a small tumbler, which is then covered
with a second handkerchief, secured with a rubber
band, and placed in the keeping of a spectator. Hav-
ing thus disposed of the watch and handkerchief, the
conjurer visibly fills a second tumbler with confetti,
which is covered in like manner with a handkerchief.
A transposition of the contents of the two tum-
blers is now commanded to take place. The spectator
removes the rubber band and handkerchief from the
tumbler in his possession, and discovers the confetti
therein instead of the borrowed articles; while the
performer's glass now contains the borrowed watch
and handkerchief in place of the confetti. Everything
may be freely examined.
EXPLANATION: The aforesaid principle u
based upon a novel manipulation of the tumblers.
Naturalness of manner and neatness of manipulation
The Magic Art . 37
are the main requirements in presentation. The
necessary requisites and preparation are as follows:
Four plain tumblers, of the tapering variety. 1
use a tumbler measuring three and three-quarters
inches high, two and one-quarter inches in diameter
at the mouth, and one and one-quarter inches in di-
ameter at bottom, which is ample for drawing-room
use, and a size easily manipulated. Two of these tum-
blers nested stack only one inch higher than a single
glass. This fact-should be duly noted, as it enters into
the success of the trick.
Two mercerized silk handkerchiefs, at least
twelve or fourteen inches square. These should be
on the order of the fancy silk handkerchiefs much used
today. For the present purpose, it is just as well to
have them different in color, say one red and one blue.
The main thing is to have them fairly opaque.
A small box filled with vari-colored crepe confetti.
A "tall" cigar box will answer the purpose. I for-
merly used bran for the trick, but the brightly colored
crepe confetti, obtainable in tubes and now much used
for weddings, etc., is not only more attractive in ap-
pearance, but is cleaner to handle than the bran.
The Black Art table with two open wells, as al-
Now, if you have obtained a tumbler of the pat-
tern and dimensions above given, you will find that,
if placed in the smaller well in the table top, the top
of the tumbler protrudes to the extent of about one
inch above the surface of the talale.
One of the tumblers is beforehand filled with con-
fetti, and placed in the small well at performer's right
as he stands behind the table, and one of the silk
The Magic Art
handkerchiefs laid carelessly in front of it, with one
side of the silk drawn over the mouth of the tumbler,
so that both handkerchief and glass may be picked
The box of confetti is placed at the other end of
the table, with the three remaining tumblers and silk
handkerchief neatly arranged in front of it.
The trick is now ready for presentation. The
performer asks the loan of a lady's watch, and to
insure its safety while in his hands likewise borrows
a handkerchief in which to wrap it. Returning to the
table with the borrowed articles held well up to pre-
vent the idea of substitution, one of the tumblers is
taken in the left hand, while the right spreads the
. m .
borrowed handkerchief over it, and pushes the watch,
as well as the handkerchief, in this manner, into the
The Magic Art
This leaves the corners of the handkerchief pro-
truding at top. They should be tucked in a little, just
so they come flush with the brim of the tumbler. This
arrangement is essential to later developments. The
left hand now places the glass on the table, just in
front of the large well, while the right picks up "the
silk handkerchief at that end of the table, at the same
time nipping through the fabric, between thumb and
forefinger, the brim of the concealed tumbler of con-
fetti in the small well. It is to be understood that the
glass is seized with the thumb inside and forefinger
40 The Magic Art
outside the front edge, the back of the hand being pre-
sented to the audience; and if held with the fingers
extended against the handkerchief in a perfectly nat-
ural manner, the presence of the tumbler behind the
handkerchief is not suspected. (See Figs. 2 and 3,
front and back views, respectively.)
Now the left hand is holding the visible tumbler,
containing the borrowed articles, just in front of the
larger well, with the ball of the wrist almost touch-
ing the table. The right hand draws the handker-
chief over the glass, but the instant the latter is
shielded by the silk, the left hand permits the glass
to slip into the well, and seizes the concealed tumbler
of confetti under the handkerchief, which is now
lifted, still covered, from the table, and the handker-
chief drawn completely around it. A rubber band is
passed over handkerchief and glass to make matters
doubly safe from deception, and the parcel placed in
the keeping of a spectator, with the request to hold
it at arm's length, to prevent possible injury to the
lady's time-piece. This prevents any desire on his
part to "peep."
Now, from the standpoint of the company, the
borrowed watch and handkerchief have been disposed'
of in a manner prohibiting any tampering on the
part of the conjurer. His every move has been per-
fectly natural and above board, neither the watch,
handkerchief nor glass being removed from! sight for
n single instant until covered with the silk, when they
are immediately brought forward, so covered, and
placed in the keeping of the spectator.
The performer next offers for inspection the box
of confetti, from which he fills one of the remaining
The Magic Art 41
tumblers on the table. Taking the tumbler of con-
fetti in one hand, and the last remaining tumbler in
the other, he pours the confetti from one glass into the
other several times, to impress upon the minds of
those present that no deception enters into the pro-
ceeding. He then places the tumbler of confetti on
the table, in front of the large well, as before, setting
the empty glass to one side.
Now comes the novel part of the operation. The
remaining silk handkerchief is shown freely on both
sides, and then spread over the tumbler of confetti.
The upper corners are permitted to fall in back, the
left hand following to the table, and as the right hand
seizes the top of the glass, through the silk, the left
hand, under this cover, is lowered into the well, and
brings up the tumbler containing the borrowed watch
and handkerchief, nipped by the brim between the
first and second fingers. As soon as the glass clears
the well, the thumb supports it on the opposite side.
Meanwhile, the right hand lifts the tumbler of con-
fetti from the table ; the left brings the other tumbler
under the folds of the handkerchief (Fig. 4), and the
tumbler of confetti is permitted to settle gently into
the lower glass, the arrangement of the borrowed
handkerchief in this latter tumbler preventing any
"chink" of the tumblers in coming together. The left
hand should force the lower glass firmly over the upper
one, to reduce the height of the two to a minimum.
The covered "tumbler" is then left on the palm of the
It will be found in actual practice that the closest
observer will entertain no doubt in his mind as to the
fairness of the proceeding up to this point. As far
The Magic Art
as substitution is concerned, the tumbler of confetti
has obviously been covered with the handkerchief and
lifted from the table ; and as substitution is the sole
source of suspicion in the mind of the average specta-
tor, he has not the remotest idea of a duplicate tum-
bler being smuggled into the folds of the handkerchief
covering the confetti.
The conjurer now calls attention to what has so
far taken place: the borrowed watch and handker-
chieif deposited in the glass now held by the spectator ;
while the confetti is in his own possession. That, by
the mere pronouncing of his mystic formula, the con-
tents of the two tumblers will instantly make an invis-
The Magic Art 43
The spectator removes the covering from his glass,
and finds it filled with confetti. This having been
determined, the performer, standing behind his table,
likewise uncovers his own glass, disclosing the bor-
rowed watch and handkerchief. In removing the silk
covering, the uppermost glass (which contains con-
fetti) is nipped, as before, by the brim between thumb
and forefinger through the fabric. While all eyes are
drawn to the disclosure of the watch and handkerchief
in the (lower) tumbler, the right hand is carelessly
lowered to the table, and places tlie silk thereon, per-
mitting the concealed tumbler of confetti to slide into
the large well, and the trick is done. The tumbler is
immediately brought . forward to the owner of the
watch and handkerchief, who identifies her property.
Of course, all the visible properties may be examined
as much as the company pleases without offering a
clue to the modus operandi.
The Egg and Handkerchief
Here w'e have a modification of the principle laid
down in the preceding paragraph. As a practical
example of its many uses to the conjurer, I shall give
my own original version of Colonel Stodare's old-time
"Egg and Handkerchief Trick," but since my first
description of it in "Some Modern Conjuring," I have
improved it to some extent, and I can recommend the
later version as a very good "sucker" trick. It is the
only Egg and Handkerchief Trick I have ever met
with in which all the visible properties made use of
may be freely examined "before and after."
The effect is this: A raw egg, a small tumbler,
and a colored silk handkerchief are offered for exam-
44 The Magic Art
ination, after which the egg is deposited in the tum-
bler, and the latter covered with the handkerchief. To
make doubly secure, a rubber band is passed over the
glass, which is left in view upon the table. A small
green silk handkerchief is next examined, which is
subsequently transformed into the egg in the con-
jurer's hands; and upon uncovering the tumbler the
green silk is found therein, instead of the egg.
Now comes the "sucker" feature. When the con-
jurer rubs the green silk between his hands, and trans-
forms it into the egg, he places the latter on the table.
Uncovering the glass, he reveals the green silk therein.
At this point. he overhears (or pretends to overhear)
whispered remarks directed at the egg reposing on the
table. "Some of you," says the performer, "I can see
are looking with suspicion upon that egg. Just why
this is being done, I can not imagine; but a lady just
remarked (it was only said in a whisper, but I heard
it) that the egg isn't real." The performer carelessly
picks up the egg from the table, and examines it with
a critical eye. "So far as I can see, it's a perfectly
good egg. May I ask what is wrong with it?" Some-
body is pretty sure to nibble at the bait thus offered,
and, desiring to show their knowledge of conjuring,
offer the statement that the egg contains "the hand,
kerchief." If no such statement is made, the con-
jurer, by adroit handling, causes it to be made. "Oh,
you think the handkerchief is in the egg? I can not
possibly see how you arrive at such a conclusion, when
the green silk is right here on the table before your
The longer the entertainer talks, the more con-
vinced will his auditors become that he is "stalling,"
The Magic Art 45
and that is just what he is striving to lead them to be-
lieve. Nothing short of an examination of the egg
will convince them now. Finally, and with some re-
luctance, the performer comes forward with the egg.
He shows it all around, then taps it with his wand and
requests the most argumentative spectator to examine
the contents. When this knowing person reaches into
the egg shell, he brings forth not a green silk, but one
of a bright orange-color, which has never figured in
the trick at all, of course. The conjurer bows, and
To prepare for the trick, the performer selects two
raw eggs as near alike as possible in appearance. One
of these he empties of its contents by making a half
inch opening with a sharp penknife in the broad end,
after which the shell is carefully rinsed out and dried.
An orange-colored silk is then packed into the shell,
and the opening covered over with a disc of white ad-
hesive paper. This egg is placed in performer's right
hand trousers' pocket.
The other requisites for the trick are as under:
The duplicate raw egg.
Two small tumblers, of the type already referred
A large colored mercerized handkerchief.
Two small green silk handkerchiefs.
A "handkerchief egg," celluloid preferred.
A Black Art table, having a large and a small
open well, as already described.
A rubber band and a wand.
Place, beforehand, one of the green silks in one
of the tumblers in such manner that the silk just fills
46 The Magic Art
the glass. This tumbler is deposited in the large well
of the table. The handkerchief egg is vested or pock-
eted. The remaining egg, tumbler, green silk, mer-
cerized handkerchief, rubber band and wand are ar-
ranged in view upon the table.
Having introduced the visible properties to the
attention of the audience, the conjurer returns them
to the table, setting down the glass, into which the
egg has been placed, just in front of the large well.
The large handkerchief is now spread over the tumbler,
the latter being seized through the covering by the
right hand. Simultaneously the left hand secretly
brings up the duplicate tumbler (containing the duph-
cate green silk), and pushes it over the upper, original
glass, under cover of the handkerchief, in same manner
described in the foregoing trick ; the silk . in the lower
glass being pushed to the bottom thereof, thus pre-
venting any "talk." The two tumblers, appearing as .
one under cover of the handkerchief, are placed in
view upon the table, and the rubber band passed over
Taking the green silk from the ■ table, the per-
former takes up a position at some distance therefrom,
secretly obtaining possession of the handkerchief egg
from his vest or pocket, and by this means transforms
the silk into the egg. The latter is then placed upon
the table, just in front of the small well. The tum-
bler is then uncovered, revealing the green silk therein.
Of course, the upper glass, containing the egg, is re-
moved with the covering handkerchief in manner now
familiar to the reader, and dropped in the large well of
the table in the act of laying down the handkerchief;
while the (lower) glass is exhibited with the green
The Magic Art 47
silk, and, with the mercerized handkerchief, may be
passed for examination.
The fact that the silk and glass are brought for.
ward, but not the egg, will generally afford the per-
former the opening he is looking for at this point in
his operations, and while he is making the inquiries
recorded above, he carelessly inseits his hand in his
trousers' pocket and palms the prepared egg. When
matters reach the stage where he apparently picks
up the egg from the table, what he really does is to
bring his hand, in which the egg is palmed, across the
table in front of the handkerchief egg resting in front
of the Black Art well. The handkerchief egg is there-
fore swept into the well, and the palmed egg elevated
to the finger tips, the illusion being perfect. In due
time the performer taps the small end of the egg with
his wand, and permits the spectator to extract the
orange-colored silk therefrom. The contrast in the
colors of the two handkerchiefs will be brought out
to better advantage if the performer, during his argu-
ment with his auditors, picks up the green silk and
draws it over his left forearm, where it remains until
the trick is brought to a conclusion.
The Flying Glass, Watch and Flag
This, I venture to say, is a decided improvement
upon the little trick described by Professor Hoffmann
in "More Magic," page 364, under the title of "The
Flying Glass, Watch and Handkerchief." It will be
remembered that in the version there set forth the
watch, handkerchief and glass were first deposited
in a borrowed hat, but, under some pretext, were re-
moved (exchanged) , and the three articles then passed
48 The Magic Art
invisibly into the hat at a distance. In my own ver-
sion of the trick, the three articles do not, from the
viewpoint of the company, approach the hat until they
have been "passed" into it by. so-called magical means.
Effect: A lady's borrowed watch is wrapped
in a small silk American flag, and both deposited in
a tumbler. A borrowed hat is placed upon a side
stand at a distance. The watch now vanishes from
the flag in the tumbler; the flag melts away in the
conjurer's hands; and the tumbler shares the fate of
watch and flag. All three articles are then taken, one
after the other, from the hat.
The arrangement is similar to the "Watch, Hand-
kerchief and Confetti Trick." The requisites follow:
Two small tumblers.
Two small silk American flags.
A large, double, mercerized handkerchief, prefer-
ably colored, containing a ring for vanishing a
A hand box vanisher.
Black Art table, provided with large and small
A side stand on performer's left.
Beforehand, one of the flags is placed in one of
the tumblers, which is deposited in the small well of
the table. The mercerized handkerchief is spread
over the protruding top of the tumbler, as already
The hand box is hooked on the table drape at per-
former's right hand rear corner of table.
The conjurer begins operations by borrowing a
lady's watch and a gentleman's hat, the latter being
placed, mouth downward, on the left end of the table.
The Magic Art 49
The watch is then fairly wrapped in the flag, and a
spectator permitted to satisfy himself that the watch
is so wrapped; after which the flag parcel is placed
in the tumbler, and the latter covered with the large
handkerchief. That is to say, the tumbler is placed
just in front of the large well on the table, and the
concealed tumbler is drawn from the small well in the
act of picking up the handkerchief; and under cover
of spreading the handkerchief over the visible glass
the latter is dropped into the large well, the procedure
up to this point being identical with the "Watch, Hand-
kerchief, and Confetti." The performer, holding the
covered (substitute) tumbler in right hand, takes a
step or two away from the table, then suddenly recalls
himself. Perhaps the company suspect some decep-
tion in the covering of the glass. As he would not
deceive them for the world, etc., he will gladly remove
the handkerchief and dispense with its services, which
he does accordingly. As this substitute tumbler con-
tains a flag, the company are led to believe that the
watch is likewise contained therein, and do not sus-
pect an exchange at this stage of the trick. The
handkerchief is thrown on the table, the tumbler be-
ing retained in the right hand, while the left reaches
for the hat. He states, "Since you suspect the turn-;
bier perhaps you likewise suspect the hat. You will
observe it is quite empty." He shows the interior of
the hat, then replaces it mouth downward upon the
table, this time in front of the large well, with its side
to the company. This brings the left hand behind
the hat. He continues, "I will place the tumbler, con-
taining the watch and flag, here in plain view of all
upon the table; and the hat — ^this little stand is just
50 The Magic Aet
the place for it." During the momentary hesitation,
as if seeking a suitable location for the hat, the first
and second fingers of the left hand, under cover of the
hat, reach into the well and seize the rim of the orig-
inal tumbler (containing the watch and flag). The
hat is then lifted by the brim between the thumb and
forefinger- of same hand, when the mere act of raising
it loads in the tumbler; and the hat is carried to the
side stand and placed thereon, mouth upward.
Returning to the table, he decides to pass the
three articles — watch, flag, and glass, — into the hat,
by the invisible process of mystic transmigration. To
make the process still more difficult, he will under-
take to pass the articles singly instead of together.
First the watch. He taps the glass with his wand, im-
mediately shaking out the flag, and thus proving, ac-
cording to conjurers' logic, that the watch has just
made an invisible flight from the glass into the hat.
At the same time the opposite hand rests for an
instant at the rear table edge, and palms the hand
box. The hands are now brought together, and the
flag duly vanishes. Only the tumbler remains. This
follows the flag by means of the double handkerchief,
the tumbler being dropped into the well just vacated
by the other glass ; the performer moving away from
the table with the handkerchief distended by means of
the ring therein, and after suitable "hanky panky"
draws the handkerchief through his hands, proving
the evanishment of the tumbler.
It only remains to remove the original glass, flag,
and watch, one after the other, from the hat.
It will be noted that the above method possesses
the advantage over the other version referred to in
The Magic Art 51
that the tumbler containing the flag and watch are
apparently not removed from sight, or, at any rate,
do not approach the hat, until the latter has been dis-
posed of on the side stand.
How Many Goldfish?
This very clever trick demands just a little
"nerve" to carry through successfully, but if the opera-
tions described below are carefully studied, no dif-
ficulty will be encountered. I wish I knew beyond
question who the originator of this ingenious arrange-
ment really is, so that due credit could be given.
There are several methods by which the trick
may be accomplished, but I include it here as the
system of tumbler manipulation now under consider-
ation greatly simplifies the working of this particular
trick. It is most effective when introduced immedi-
ately following the Aerial Fishing Trick, or any other
effect in which goldfish have figured.
The effect is this: Having finished, say, the
Aerial Fishing, and acknowledged his applause, the
performer remarks, "You seem to have a fancy for
goldfish. How many more would you like?" While
he is speaking, he fills a small glass about two-thirds
full .of water, and, throwing a handkerchief over the
glass, walks into the audience with it. A spectator
suggests, say, "five," whereupon the performer sim-
ulates the action of catching five goldfish in the air
.and passing them, invisibly, into the cove ed glass.
Upon removing the handkerchief from the glass of
water, exactly five small goldfish are revealed swim-
ming therein, or whatever number of fish was called
for. The effect is nothing short of marvelous.
52 The Magic Art
The requisites are very simple: Two tumblers,
seven small goldfish, and a pocket handkerchief. Be-
forehand, one of the tumblers is filled two-thirds full
of water, and the seven goldfish placed therein. This
glass is deposited in the small well near the front of
the Black Art table, and the pocket handkerchief ar-
ranged over it to conceal the protruding top of the
glass. The empty glass and a small pitcher of water
are in view on same table.
When the conjurer inquires how many goldfish
the audience would like him to produce, he places the
empty glass in front of the large well in table top,
and covers it with the handkerchief. But, combining
business with pleasure, he lifts the concealed tumbler
of goldfish with the handkerchief, and as the latter
shields the glass of water the tumblers are substituted
in manner now familiar to the reader, the glass of
water being permitted to slide into the large well of
the table, while the glass containing the goldfish is
wrapped in the handkerchief instead, and brought
forward so covered.
The performer states his intention of magically
producing "any number of goldfish desired." But
the audience must be reasonable, — any small number,
up to eight or ten.
Now it is a fact well known among conjurers
that, given a range of numbers up to ten, the choice
will invariably fall upon the number seven, and that
is just what the performer requires in the present
trick. Assuming that No. 7 is named, the performer
simulates the actJon of catching seven goldfish in
the air and passing them, invisibly, into the covered
The Magic Art 53
glass; after which the handkerchief is removed and
a spectator invited to verify the count.
But, says the astute reader, how is the conjurer
to escape from his predicament if No. 7 is not the
If, for instance, a small number, such as three or
four, is called, the performer is pretty safe in asking
a second spectator to "add a few" to the first specta-
On the other hand, if the number called for is
six, he repeats, "six," and turning to a lady at his
side, remarks, "and shall I send one along for you?
Very good; that will make seven."
As a rule, however, when the conjurer calls for
the choice of a number up to eight or ten, he will re-
ceive several responses, and No. 7 is pretty sure to be
It will be found a good plan, until the performer
has gained the necessary confidence in presenting the
trick, to have a confederate at the back of the room
or theater, who calls out the additional number re-
quired to make up the total of seven, if necessary.
Where the performer is hot provided with a
Black Art table" suited to the secret exchange of tum-
blers described above, the following method may be
Beforehand, a small tumbler is filled with water
and the seven goldfish, after which a rubber cover
is placed over the rim of the glass, and the latter
placed in the lower vest pocket.
The conjurer, as before, fills the duplicate glass
with water, and covers it with the handkerchief, which,
in this case, is the well-known double handkerchief
54 The Magic Art
provided with a ring of the diameter of the tumblers.
Seizing this ring through the handkerchief, he appar-
ently lifts the glass of water from the table, but
secretly slips the glass into a Black Art well, or lowers
it onto a shelf servante with the opposite hand. As he
walks forward, apparently witli the glass under the
handkerchief, he holds the latter against his body,
when it becomes an easy matter for the right hand,
placed under the handkerchief for the purpose, appar-
ently, of steadying the glass^ to steal the duplicate
glass of water and goldfish, from the vest pocket, and
insert it under the ring. The trick then proceeds as
above described, the performer, in removing the hand-
kerchief from the glass, secretly slipping the rubber
cover and placing both handkerchief and cover in his
pocket, out of the way.
The resourceful conjurer will find many good
uses for the principles involved in this novel trick.
Naturally, the effect is not confined solely to the mag-
ical production of a given number of goldfish, but is
equally adapted to silk handkerchiefs, cigars, cigar-
ettes, coins, and, in fact, any objects of suitable size.
The above effects are given as practical examples
of the many good uses to which this novel tumbler
manipulation may be applied. By certain modifica-
tions of the principles laid dov/n, it is adapted to pro.
duction, multiplication, transformation, or envanish-
ment in the tumblers.
Holmes' Tumbler Manipulation on a Chair
This is the same system of tumbler manipulation
outlined in the foregoing pages, but performed by the
aid of a chair instead of a table. I have reserved
The Magic Art
56 The Magic Art
mention of it until now, in order not to confuse the
reader in making him familiar with the cardinal prin-
ciples of the system.
In many cases the entertainer's arrangement of
tricks will not permit him to employ his Black Art
table for the manipulation of the tumblers, but he can
still include the latter by the aid of a chair, and with
quite as good effect.
In this case, a special servante is employed, its
particular type and method of use being depicted in
Fig. 5. Note that the servante is one of the bag af-
fairs, a metal ring, for supporting the duplicate tum-
bler, being affixed at the upper edge of the servante
frame in the right hand corner. The chair is pro-
vided with a cover of black sateen or velvet, in order
to render the back opaque, and the servante is hooked
to this cover by means of strong safety-pins, so that
its upper edge is close to the top of the chair back,
as shown in the illustration.
With the duplicate concealed tumbler resting in
the ring of servante, a handkerchief is draped in a
careless fashion over the chair back, and partially
covering the brim of the tumbler; the arrangement
being similar to that employed in the case of the Black
Art table, as already outlined.
A second tumbler, together with other proper-
ties employed in the trick, is placed on the seat of
the same chair. When the performer is about to
make the exchange, he picks up this tumbler from the
chair seat, and steps directly behind the chair. Hold-
ing the glass in view, in his left hand, he seizes the
handkerchief with his right, and apparently covers
the tumbler. Of course, in this operation the dupli-
The Magic Art
cate glass is brought up with the handkerchief, and
under cover of the latter the first glass is permitted
to fall into the bag of the servante, and the duplicate
is wrapped in the folds of the handkerchief instead.
A Novel Exchange
This is one of my latest additions to the system
of tumbler manipulation now under consideration,
and it involves a most subtle exchange by the aid of
one tumbler only. It is adapted to the secret ex-
change of the contents of the glass for another object
similar in appearance or totally different in character.
The Black Art table employed is the same as de-
scribed in the foregoing pages, being provided with
the two wells; but the glass is bottomless, and the
size of an ordinary water tumbler.
For the purpose of explanation, let us assume
58 The Magic Art
that the entertainer desires to place an egg openly
into the tumbler, subsequently causing it to change
into a lemon, under the usual cover of a handkerchief.
The bottomless tumbler is beforehand placed just
in front of the large well in table top. A lemon is
prepared to the extent that a loop of stiff gut is at-
tached to one end of the fruit, after which it is de-
posited in the small well of the table, the gut loop
protruding therefrom, and the usual handkerchief
thrown over that corner of the table. (See Fig. 6.)
The conjurer exhibits an egg in his left hand, and
as he slides it into the glass on the table, his right
hand seizes the middle of the handkerchief (together
with the gut loop on the concealed lemon), and the
handkerchief is drawn over the glass. Simultane-
ously, the left hand seizes the glass and draws it back-
ward over the large open well. The egg passes
through the bottomless glass, into the trap beneath,
while the lemon goes into the glass from above, and
the handkerchief is draped over all.
The same secret exchange, and quite as deceptive,
may even be performed without the aid of the bot-
tomless glass. In this case the egg is placed in front
of the large well in table top. The conjurer, with his
right hand, lifts the handkerchief from the table, seiz-
ing the gut loop on the lemon at the same time, and
as the handkerchief clears the table the left hand ap-
parently picks up the egg. As a matter of fact, the
egg is swept into the trap, the hand being held in the
correct position to carry out the idea that it really
holds it. The right hand brings the handkerchief over
the left, permitting the lemon to fall therein, after
which the fruit is completely wrapped up and exhib-
The Magic Art
ited in manner shown in Fig. 7. If a good, firm
lemon, the same size as the egg, has been selected for
the trick, the spectators will be firmly convinced that
the egg and nothing else has been wrapped in the hand-
Other objects can be exchanged in a similar man-
ner, such as a parcel of silks for an egg first deposited
in the glass. Or an egg, apparently taken off the
table with the left hand, and wrapped in the handker-
60 The Magic Aet
chief, may be transformed into a small bouquet of
Holmes' Trick Glass Outfit
This superb outfit of trick glasses includes cer-
tain indispensable principles in trick glassware com-
bined in one set, enabling the up-to-date conjurer to
obtain, by such combination, many effects heretofore
unthought of or possible to obtain from the dealers.
The set consists of the following items:
(a) A tall lemonade tumbler, simply but ele-
gantly designed, and quite unprepared.
(b) A bottomless lemon.ade tumbler, similar
to the above in appearance.
(c) A nickeled metal mirror insert, fitting
either of the two glasses.
(d) A celluloid insert, tunibler shaped, fitting
inside either glass.
(e) A confetti "feke," consisting of a tin shape,
covered externally with brightly colored crepe con-
fetti, open at the bottom and closed at top. This con.
fetti feke slips easily into either glass, when the glass
appears filled to the brim with loose confetti. The
upper, closed end of the feke is concave for the accom-
modation of a small quantity of loose confetti, and
the edge extends over the brim of the glass, enabling
the fingers to lift the feke out of the glass with ease.
(f) A cylindrical metal tube or cover, finely
nickeled, fitting loosely over either glass.
The greatest value of such a combination rests
in the fact that the accessories are all interchangeable,
while the following standard trick glasses will be
recognized as comprising its makeup :
The Magic Art 61
(b) The Bottomless Glass.
(c) The Mirror Glass.
(d) The Demon Glass.
(e) The Confetti (or Bran) Glass.
The general uses of the four standard trick glasses
just mentioned are too well known to demand descrip-
tion here. They are immensely popular with ama-
teur conjurers, and justly so, for they offer a wide
range of effects not evien obtainable with other so-
called general utility apparatus. So I shall confine
myself to the interesting possibilities afforded by the
interchangeable feature of the various accessories
when combined in the one set.
The Bottomless Mirror Glass
Here we have a combination of two trick glasses
that are probably most universally employed in con-
juring. By the aid of such a combination, several
very novel effects are possible. For instance, the vis-
ible vanish of a silk handkerchief from the glass.
Beforehand, a long black silk thread is attached
to one corner of, say, a green silk, and the latter is
then tucked into one side of the bottomless mirror
glass. The thread passes through the bottom opening
of the glass, thence through a hole in the tafcle top.
and on down through the shaft of the table base,
thence off stage. The glass is placed upon the table
with its empty compartment turned to the front, so
that the glass appears empty. During the course of
his entertainment, the performer makes use of a dupli-
cate green silk, and finally pushes it well down in the
glass upon the table ; i. e., into the front compartment.
Both sides of the mirror glass now contain green silks,
so that the glass can be handled pretty freely without
62 The Magic Art
giving anything away, and taking advantage of this
arrangement, the entertainer gives the glass a half
turn, bringing the threaded silk to the front. It is
needless to remark that a little slack thread should be
left between the glass and the table top. When the
half turn is given to the glass, the latter is left, with
the front compartment directly over the opening to the
The performer now retires at a distance from the
table, and clapping his hands, cries, "Go!" The as-
sistant, who has meanwhile taken up the slack, jerks
the thread, causing the silk in the front compartment
of the glass to disappear with lightning-like rapidity.
The glass is now free from any connection with
the table, and can be placed aside.
The Bottomless Demon Glass
The following effective combination involves the
use of both glasses in the trick glass outfit. In this
case the metal mirror insert is used in the glass with
bottom, while the celluloid insert of the demon glass
is used in the bottomless glass.
Beforehand, one compartment of the mirror glass
is filled with confetti, and this side of the glass turned
to the rear. In the front compartment of the glass
is tucked a silk handkerchief.
A handkerchief pedestal is loaded with a duplicate
handkerchief, and is placed in readiness upon the
table, together with the two glasses, a tall paper tube,
and a small box containing confetti.
The conjurer begins operations by filling the
bottomless demon glass with confetti, pouring the lat-
ter openly from the box into the insert in the glass;
after which the glass of confetti is isolated upon the
The Magic Art 63
pedestal, and the paper tube slipped over it. In mov-
ing the pedestal slightly forward, the piston is lifted,
projecting the duplicate handkerchief into the bot-
tomless glass, which operation also serves to lift the
celluloid container of confetti to the extent of an inch
or so in the glass. This fact must be borne in mind
in determining the height of the paper tube with which
the glass is covered.
The performer now draws the handkerchief from
the mirror glass, and spreads a large pocket handker-
chief over the apparently empty glass. The silk is
rolled smaller and smaller between the palms, until
it vanishps altogether. Lifting the tube on the ped-
estal, the fingers at the same time seize and carry
away therein the celluloid container of confetti, the
latter being permitted to slip from the tube into a
bag servante as the hand is lowered behind the table.
The duplicate silk is thus revealed in the glass on
the pedestal, while the missing confetti is discovered
in the (mirror) glass.
The above use of the bottomless demon glass on
the handkerchief pedestal is an arrangement of Mr.
Victor D. Barbour's, a very enthusiastic devotee of
The Bottomless Confetti Glass
The confetti feke fits either the bottomless or ^he
unprepared glass of the set. Its use with the unpre-
pared glass, like the old-time Bran Glass, is too well
known to warrant description ; but its application to
the bottomless glass seems to have been generally over-
looked by conjureis, although such a combination of
two well-known principles offers some very fine ef-
fects not otherwise obtainable.
64 The Magic Art
For instance, in Professor Hoffmann's "Modern
Magic" is described the trick of passing several bor-
rowed rings into a glass previously filled with bran,
the bran passing to some other quarter. This old but
popular trick can be made still more effective by em-
ploying the bottomless Confetti Glass instead of the
orthodox Bran Glass ; the glass, in this case, being ap-
parently filled with the confetti before the rings are,
borrowed. The conjurer has only to make the secret
exchange of rings, retaining the borrowed rings
in his left hand. After the substitute rings have been
caused to disappear, he places the confetti glass (which
is covered with a bottomless paper bag) on the palm
of his left hand, that is to say, the bottomless glass
over the borrowed rings; the paper covering is lifted
from the tumbler, together with the confetti feke, and
the glass immediately given a shake, revealing the
borrowed rings therein instead of the confetti, which
may be reproduced according to the magician's fancy.
In the trick next following a still more ingenious
use of the bottomless confetti glass is explained.
The Mystic Handkerchief and Tumbler of
Of the many combinations possible with the trick
glass outfit, none are m.ore effective, or possess greater
real magical principles, than this mystifying little
trick. A similar experiment has been described by
Professor Hoffmann in his "Later Magic," under the
title, "A Handkerchief Transformed Into Paper Shav-
ings," but the version here given (my own) possesses
several additions which I believe may be claimed as
an improvement. It was for just such combinations
as this that I originally designed the trick glass outfit.
The Magic Art 65
The effect of the trick is as follows : A blue silk
handkerchief is inserted into an empty paper cylinder,
which is placed upright on the table. A piece of paper
is formed into a small tube, the ends of which are
twisted up and the tube placed in the keeping of a
spectator. A box of confetti and a tumbler are next
inspected, and the tumbler filled with the confetti and
covered with a handkerchief. A change now takes
place, the tumbler of confetti vanishing from the hand-
kerchief, and reappearing under the paper cylinder;
the blue handkerchief passing from the latter into the
small paper tube held by the spectator. The conjurer
now replaces the paper cylinder over the tumbler of
confetti. The blue silk is caused to vanish, and reap-
pears in the tumbler, the confetti returning invisibly
to the box, according to the magician's statement.
So much for the effect of the trick. The requi-
sites and preliminary arrangements are as follows:
A plain paper cylinder, eight inches long, and of
such diameter as to pass freely over the tumbler.
Two blue silk handkerchiefs, of like size. In the
center of one of these is stitched (by means of a little
patch of silk) a; disc of lead, an ounce or a little more
A piece of plain paper, 8x10 inches.
A handkerchief wand, with removable plug and
Two lemonade tumblers of like appearance, one
bottomless, the other unprepared.
The confetti "feke," which for the purpose of the
present trick is used in the bottomless glass.
A double handkerchief ,. .with a ring of the diam-
The Magic Art
The Magic Art 67
eter of the tumblers inserted therein, in manner famil-'*
iar to most magicians.
A small box, partly filled with confetti. The
only specialty about this box is that it must be an
inch greater in depth than that of the tumblers.
These various articles are beforehand arranged
thus (See Fig. 8) :
Upon the table, the box of confetti, with the un-
prepared tumbler in front of it. Behind the box is
concealed the bottomless tumbler, containing the con-
fetti feke. At the other end of the table are placed
the paper cylinder, sheet of paper, and blue handker-
chief provided with leaden weight.
The duplicate blue silk is loaded into the hand-
kerchief wand and its middle portion attached to the
hook on the plug, and the wand placed upon the table
between the box and paper cylinder.
The double handkerchief is thrown over a chair
The table should be provided with a bag servante.
The various operations involved in presentation
are set forth in the following paragraphs.
The paper cylinder and blue silk handkerchief
are first introduced. The performer then steps be-
hind the table, placing the cylinder thereon behind
the box of confetti, and at the same time slipping it
over the bottomless confetti glass. -Just as he lowers
the cylinder over the concealed tumbler, he tucks the
handkerchief partially in at the top of it, apparently
to keep the silk in view of those present.
Having thus concealed the confetti glass, he is
now free to bring forward the box of confetti and thfe
68 The Magic Aet
'unprepared tumbler for examination. A boy is re-
quested to fill the glass with confetti from the box,
and while he is performing the operation the con-
jurer obtains the small piece of paper from the table,
and forms it into a tube by the aid of the wand, there-
by leaving the duplicate blue silk hidden in the tube;
after which the ends of the parcel are twisted up, and
it is placed in the keeping of the boy, who has by this
time filled the glass with confetti. To prevent any
inclination to peep at the contents of the parcel, the
performer requests his volunteer assistant to hold the
tube at arm's length above his head.
The conjurer carries the glass of confetti and
box to his table. He removes the blue silk from the
top of the paper cylinder and crumples it into a loost
parcel, which he inserts at the lower end of the cylin-
der. This move demands a little practice, for it is
necessary to pick up the bottomless tumbler together
with the cylinder, by pressure of the fingers at a
point about even with the top of the concealed glass;
and in pushing the silk into the cylinder it must be
passed through the opening in the bottom of the tum-
bler without disturbing the confetti feke contained
therein. Hence the precaution of seizing the paper
tube near the top, the fingers retaining the tumbler,
as well as the confetti feke, in position. By tilting
the top of the cylinder slightly toward the audience,
the presence of the tumbler is not disclosed. The
cylinder is then replaced upon the table.
Next, the glass of confetti is covered with the
double handkerchief, the latter first being shaken out
in such manner as to bring the ring to the center, and
therefore over the top of the glass. Bringing forward
The Magic Aet 69
the covered tumbler, the conjurer states his intention
of passing it invisibly from the handkerchief to the
paper cylinder, which at present holds the blue silk.
He accordingly flips the handkerchief in the air, the
tumbler and confetti vanishing on the instant. Of
course, in the act of lifting the covered glass from the
table, the performer has permitted the glass to drop
into a Black Art well in the table top, or lowered it
into the servante. Going over to the paper cylinder,
he lifts it without pressure, revealing the bottomless
tumbler thereunder, apparently filled with confetti,
the f eke appearing precisely as the confetti in the other
The blue silk not being accounted for, the per-
former requests the boy to open the paper tube, from
which he extracts the missing handkerchief.
In the second stage of the trick, the performer
replaces the paper cylinder over the glass of confetti.
Retiring at a distance from the table, he now causes
the blue silk to vanish, either by the roll palm, or
some mechanical appliance. He removes the cylinder
from the tumbler, revealing the handkerchief therein,
the confetti having passed "invisibly" back to the box.
Needless to say, in the act of lifting the cylinder, the
confetti feke is carried away therein by a slight pres-
sure of the fingers upon its upper, pro.jecting edge,
and while all eyes are centered upon the silk in the
glass, the cylinder is lowered to the servante and the
feke permitted to slide therein. It may make a little
noise in falling, but this is concealed by quickly crush-
ing the cylinder and tossing it into the audience in
practically one and the same operation.
The use of the leaden weight in one of the blue
70 The Magic Art
silks may not be quite clear to the reader. It will
be found in actual practice that when the confetti
feke is withdrawn from under the tumbler, under
cover of the cylinder, that the silk handkerchief pre-
viously pushed therein through the bottom of the glass
is inclined to follow the feke, owing to its lightness.
As it is most essential to the success of the trick that
the handkerchief remain behind in the glass, the little
weight is sewn in the center of the silk to obviate this
risk of failure. Just before pushing the silk into the
paper cylinder (and into the bottomless glass), it
should be crumpled up a bit to insure good results
later on. A trial or two will show the correct pro-
Holmes' Crystal Jar Outfit
This combination of trick glassware resembles
the foregoing only in one or two respects. It was
primarily designed by me as a large mirror jar to
answer the requirements of many magicians who
found the standard mirror glass too small for certain
uses. From this beginning the Crystal Jar outfit has
been evolved and, like the Trick Glass outfit, it offers
many possibilities, especially in the way of combina-
The outfit consists of the following items:
(a) The Crystal Jar, consisting of a large,
polygon-shaped glass jar, provided with a lid.
(b) A nickeled metal mirror insert.
(c) A half-round receptacle of transpa,rent cel-
luloid, which may be inserted on one side of the mirror
insert (b) when the latter is in the jar.
(d) A confetti "feke" similar to (e) of the
Trick Glass outfit, but fitting the Crystal Jar.
The Magic Art 71
(e) A large container of transparent celluloid,
fitting easily inside of the confetti feke (d) .
From this rather unusual collection of accessories
we may obtain some very clever effects, as will be
noted in the following paragraphs.
The Crystal Mirror Jar
When the nickeled metal mirror is inserted in the
jar, we obtain a large mirror glass, adapted to many
good uses in the way of changing, vanishing or caus-
ing articles of suitable size to appear.
Beforehand, the compartment on one side of the
mirror insert may be filled with the flags of different
nations, after which the jar is placed on the table
with the flag side turned to the rear, so that the jar
appears empty to those in front. In presenting the
trick, a quantity of colored silk handkerchiefs, or con-
fetti, may be placed openly into the apparently empty
jar. If handkerchiefs of different colors are used,
the jar needs no covering for the transformation, be-
ing merely picked up and transferred to another table,
when the necessary half-turn is made, bringing the
flag compartment to the front, after which the flags
are removed one after the other, and suitably dis-
played about the room or stage. Jn the case of using
confetti, the jar should be covered with a paper bag
of suitable size for the purpose of securing the half-
One of the most clever uses of the mirror jar is
in the vanishing or changing of such live stock as a
white rat, a small dove, or a guinea pig. In this case
the white rat, say, is first placed into a paper 'bag,
which is then deposited in the Crystal Jar. Before-
hand, you have placed in the rear compartment of the
I'HE Magic Art
jar a duplicate paper bag, which may contain, say, a
lemon, or merely left empty, in which case the bag
should be partly inflated, and the top twisted up, to
The Magic Art
resemble in general appearance the other bag when
it contains the rat. After placing the rat in the bag
in the jar, the glass lid is put on (Fig. 9), and the
jar transferred to another table or chair, thus enabling
the conjurer to make the necessary half turn of the
apparatus. As the contents of both compartments
are of like appearance, the deception in the turn of
the jar is not observed; and upon removing the (dupli-
cate) paper bag from the jar later on, the rat is found
transformed into a lemon, or at least to have disap-
peared. -This apparatus will be found of great use
in tricks in which live stock is employed, or for bulky
productions in which candy, flowers, flags, etc., are
The Crystal Confetti Jar
This portion of the outfit demands little expla-
nation, the confetti feke (d) being employed with the
The Magic Aet
jar in manner similar to the standard Bran Glass, with
which all. conjurers are familiar. The transforma-
tion of the supposed confetti to the true contents of
the jar is effected by the aid of a large paper bag,
under which cover the feke is secretly carried away
and disposed of.
The confetti jar is well adapted to the magical
transformation of confetti into such bulky objects as
a dove, rabbit, guinea pig, several white rats, or a
quantity of candy, flowers, etc., this class of trans-
formation tricks being very popular at children's par-
ties and similar entertainments.
Confetti to Water and Goldfish
Under this paragraph I take pleasure in present-
ing to my readers an entirely new idea in the way of
a transformation of a commodity, such as bran or
confetti, into a fluid element, such as water and gold-
The Magic Art 75
fish. But I must share the credit of the invention
with Mr. Victor D. Barbour, of Toledo, Ohio, who
wrote me of his arrangement soon after I had experi-
mented with my own idea and perfected it.
The secret is decidedly simple, and why such an
obvious combination has not been hit upon in conjur-
ing circles ere this it is difficult to understand. In
addition to the crystal jar and confetti feke (d), the
transparent celluloid container (e) is employed. This
container fits very loosely into the jar, to permit of
the confetti feke being slipped between the sides of
the jar and the. celluloid container.
Beforehand, the container is placed in the jar,
after which the former is filled two-thirds full of wa-
ter and several goldfish added. The confetti feke is
then slipped into the jar and over the container, giv-
ing the jar the appearance of being filled with con-
fetti. A good handful of loose confetti is heaped on
the top to carry out this impression, and in present-
ing the trick the conjurer merely calls attention to the
large jar filled with confetti upon the table, tossing
off the loose confetti on the top as usual (Fig. 10).
A large paper bag is now inverted over the jar, and
the transformation effected by lifting out the feke
under cover of the bag, revealing the water and gold-
fish in the jar (Fig. 11). The fact that the celluloid
container is somewhat smaller in diameter than the
interior of the jar is never noticed from the front,
especially if the performer takes pains to lift the jar
from the table and permit the container to slide to
the front therein.
76 The Magic Art
A Chinese Paradox
This is an arrangement of my own for obtaining
a so-called self-contained Wine-and- Water or Ink-and-
Water Separation. The principles are not new, but
the devices employed have . greatly simplified the
trick. The effect is this: The entertainer calls at-
tention to a large crystal jar, provided with a lid, and
empty, standing upon the table. Upon either side of
the jar is an Oriental-looking jar, known to conjurers
as the Chinese water can, but in the present case the
two water cans are finished with Oriental decorations.
Seizing one of these water cans, the conjurer pours
its contents — water — into the crystal jar; after which
he twirls the inverted can upon his wand to prove that
the can has been completely emptied of its contents.
He then pours the contents of the second can— wine
or ink — into the jar, thus mixing it with the water,
after which the lid is placed on the jar, and the latter
covered with a large covering cloth. Once more the
Chinese water cans are demonstrated to be empty,
after which they are placed on either side of the jar
and a small square of plate glass rested over the top
of each. A red ribbon may be looped from the cov-
ered jar to one of the cans, and a white ribbon from
the jar to the second can, to represent the liquids used,
The conjurer next introduces five silk handker-
chiefs (magically or otherwise) , and to carry out the
Chinese setting of the experiment, these silks should
be red, yellow, blue, white, and black, respectively,
to represent the national colors of the Chinese Re-
public. These five silks are grouped together in the
hands, and gradually grow smaller and smaller under
The Magic Art 77
the artist's manipulation, until they disappear com-
pletely; or, if the performer is at all skillful in silk
manipulation, a prettier way is to effect the disap-
pearance of the silks by ones and twos, thus impress,
ing his audience with his cleverness. The silks hav-
ing been disposed of, the performer draws aside the
covering cloth from the crystal jar, revealing therein,
in place of the mixture of wine and water, the miss-
ing silks in the shape of a large silk flag of the Chinese
Republic. The missing wine and water are discov-
ered, completely separated, in the two cans, and are
emptied back into the crystal jar; after which the
conjurer seizes the flag and produces from its folds
a bowl of water and goldfish.
The mirror jar, with the half-round celluloid re-
ceptacle (c) inserted in the front compartment, is
employed for this pretty combination trick. The
large Chinese flag is hidden behind the mirror parti-
tion. The two Chinese water cans are filled with
wine and water, respectively, sufficient liquid being
used to fill both compartments of each can.
When the performer empties the contents of the
cans into the jar, he performs the operation with the
partition in the can downward, so that really only
one-half the contents escape, the rest remaining hid.
den under the partition, thus enabling the performer
-.to rattle his wand within the can, proving, according
to conjurer's logic, that the can is empty.
The covering cloth is now spread over the jar,
the latter being given the necessary half -turn to bring
the flag compartment to the front ; and the water cans
are covered with the squares of plate glass, which
are used merely for effect.
78 The Magic Art
The performer now introduces the five silk hand-
kerchiefs, representing the national colors of China..
In the author's opinion, the magical production of the
silks at this stage of the trick detracts, rather than
strengthens, the effect. Combination tricks demand,
of course, more or less preliminary detail before reach-
ing -their climax, and the less detraction from the
backbone of the plot the better the audience will fol-
low arid appreciate the same.
A good way is to arrange the five silks across
the back of a chair in the order of red, yellow, blue,
white, and black. The precise method for effecting
their disappearance should depend upon the particular
style of the act. If the magician is presenting a real
Oriental act, wearing the Chinese robe, etc., the quick
evanishment of all five handkerchiefs at one opera-
tion is best, employing some such method as the De-
mon Glass (see Trick Glass Outfit), the silks being
drawn off the chair back, one after the other, and
tucked into the glass after which the tube is slipped
over the latter and when lifted the silks have van-
If, however, the entertainer is working in con-
ventional evening dress, and presenting his experi-
ments with patter, he may indulge in some clever ma-
nipulation in effecting the disappearance of the hand-
kerchiefs, as suggested above. For instance, turning
back his sleeves, he may begin with the red silk,
which is vanished by the "roll-palm." In drawing
the yellow handkerchief next off the chair back, the
palmed red silk is dropped in the chair servante. A
little byplay may be introduced with the yellow, em-
ploying the "finger tip" vanish, in which the conjurer
The Magic Art 79
apparently smuggles the silk into his pocket. Th*^
blue silk follows by the aid of a Stilwell ball obtained
from the servante in lifting the silk. As the white
and black silks "represent no color at all," the per-
former vanishes them together, by the aid of a
The trick is now done. The covering cloth is
lifted from the crystal jar, revealing the flag in place
of the wine and water mixture. The cans are emptied
of their contents back into the (front compartment of
the) jar, the latter now appearing alike both sides
of the mirror partition, having liquid in both compart,
ments. The trick is brought to a conclusion by the
production of the bowl of water and goldfish from the
TRtcKS — Original and Otherwise
SO many requests have reached me for a series of ef-
fective card experiments that can be performed
"anywhere at any time," with any pack of cards, and
with the minimum of skill, that I can not better open
the present chapter than with a description of a "run"
of card tricks which has been found highly satisfac-
tory through the test of time. No claim for original-
ity is made for any of them ; they demand rather more
address thkn skill, and the effect is marvelous to the
The cards employed are innocent of any prepara-
tion, with the exception of the joker, on one end of
which ^ is slipped a very small paper clip, forming a
slight projection at this end of the card which is read-
ily found by the sense of touch, but not easily noticed.
This joker, therefore, serves as a "key" card when
secretly added to the pack.
In presenting even a short series of card experi-
ments it will be found both convenient and rather
more effective if the entertainer can have the use of
a table, before which the spectators are gathered.
When I take the cards from my pocket a few of them
are already prearranged on the top of the pack. That
is to say, I have previously taken thirteen cards, from
an ace to a king, well mixed as to suits, and placed
these thirteen cards on the top of the pack, the king
being on the very top. On this king I place the joker
provided with the little clip. I step to one end of the
table and place the pack face down thereon, announc-
ing a few simple experiments with a pack of cards.
The Magic Art 81
Just as the cards reach the table, I slip the joker off
behind them. Nobody takes any notice of this move-
ment, and if they did no importance would be attached
to the elimination of the joker.
I begin operations by subjecting the pack to a
riffle shuffle. That is to say, I make a sort of a
riffle shuffle, taking care that the top thirteen cards
are not disarranged or removed from their present
position. I then square up the pack and request some
one to come to the table, and cut the cards into two
about-equal portions. I keep the identity of the orig-
inal top portion, and immediately pick up the other
cards, handing them to the assisting party and re-
questing he or she to secretly, while my own back
is turned, count off on the packet of cards now on the
table any desired number of cards. I say, "Any small
numjber of cards, up to ten or twelve." When my re-
quest is complied with, I turn around and relieve the
party of the cards he still holds. I pick up the packet
on the table and place it on top of the other cards.
Thus my prearranged thirteen cards, with an un-
known number of indifferent cards, are still on the
top of the pack.
I now proceed to deal the cards, one at a time
and face down, in several rows of five or six cards
each. For the purpose of my experiment I must
deal at least fourteen cards off the pack, but it is
better to use, say, eighteen in three rows of six cards
each. As the card dealt at No. 14 is the key to the
entire trick, it will now occupy the second position
from the left in the bottom row.
While I am laying out the cards, I inquire of a
lady if she has ever been hypnotized; does she be-
The Magic Aet
- Fig. 12
The Magic Art 83
lieve in the power of suggestion? Standing behind
the table, I request this lady to comply with my in-
structions quickly. I explain this by saying that I
want to get the first thought that comes to her mind
at my suggestion. I now request her to indicate one
of the rows of cards upon the table. She may, or may
not, choose the row that contains the fourteenth card
dealt down ; but it should be borne in mind that while
I have three horizontal rows of six cards eachj I also
have six vertical rows of three cards each. Thus, if
the lady replies, "The second row," I accept her choice
to suit my own requirements, in this case the second
vertical row counting from my left (See Fig. 12). I
therefore eliminate all the cards on the table except
those comprising the chosen row, placing the discard
on the pack. Now the lady is requested to indicate
any two cards of the three left upon the table. More
than likely her choice will include the original "four-
teenth" card, in which case I remove the one remain-
ing. I place the two cards side by side, and ask the
lady to place one hand upon each of them, taking care
to see that her right hand rests upon the card I am
about to reveal. I suddenly request her to "raise one
hand," and it will invariably be her right. I ask the
gentleman how many cards were secretly placed on
the packet in the beginning of our experiment. If
he replies, for instance, "seven," the card I now turn
up is a seven spot (the suit is immaterial).
In the elimination of the different rows and pairs
of cards, it will be readily understood that, if in the
first instance the lady had chosen a row which did
not, figuring either horizontally or vertically, include
the "fourteenth" card, I would have eliminated the
84 The Magic Art
indicated row, and requested the choice of another
row, continuing the elimination, to meet my own re-
quirements, until only the row containing the "four-
teenth" card was left on the table. The s'ame rule ap-
plies to the elimination of the pairs in the one row.
I now assemble the cards, and hand them to a
gentleman for thorough shuffling. The joker re-
mains behind on the table. I request this person to
have several spectators select cards from the shuffled
pack while it is in his hands. When five cards have
thus been taken, I relieve the gentlemen of the pack,
and request the holders of the cards to show the latter
to their neighbors, but not to permit me to see the
faces of such cards. While I am speaking I step over
to the table, as if to prevent my seeing the cards, and
carelessly drop the pack, face down, on the joker. I
immediately square up the pack on the table, and again
bring it forward. As the table is very close to the
spectators, nobody thinks anything about this latter
movement on my part.
I now collect the chosen cards on the top of the
pack, and request some one to cut several times, thus
apparently mixing the cards thoroughly. Then, as
if to complete the operation, I cut the cards myself in
an offhand manner, secretly cutting at the key card,
which restores the chosen cards to their original po-
sition on top of pack.
At this point I state that I wish everyone to be
satisfied that the cards are thoroughly mixed, and
with that end in view I will complete the shuffle in
a manner convincing to all. Standing behind the
table, I proceed to lay the cards, a few at a time, in
four separate heaps, until the pack runs out. As a
The Magic Art 85
matter of fact, I remove exactly four cards each time
(without disturbing their order in any case), placing
the first four at A, the next four at B, then at C and
at D, until only four cards remain in my hand, and
these are placed one on each packet in the order of
A, B, C, D. The pack is now assembled by picking
up the cards in A and placing B on top of A; then
C on B, and finally D on C.
Once more the cards are laid out on the table,
but this time they are dealt rapidly into the four
heaps. A, B, C and D, one card only being dealt suc-
cessively on each heap. They are then assembled in
the same order as before.
These operations consume velry little time in
actual practice, and if accompanied with suitable pat-
ter the spectators are merely convinced that I have
thoroughly mixed the cards. As a matter of fact, the
chosen card first returned to the pack by spectator
is now the fifth card from top of pack (cards held
face down) ; the second card is the first, or top, card
of pack; the third stands at No. 14; the fourth at No.
27; the fifth at No. 40. To memorize the numbers,
1, 14, 27, 40 and 5, is not a difficult undertaking, es-
pecially when one bears in mind the fact that each is
exactly thirteen points higher when counted in rota-
tion from one up, with the exception of the last.
Armed with this knowledge, it only remains to
86 The Magic Art
reveal the identity of the selected cards according to
I therefore square up the pack, and, holding it to
my ear, riffle the cards sharply with the thumb, i
announce to the person who last returned his card
to the pack that I get the number "40." I count
thirty-nine cards face up on the table, and, turning
up the fortieth, show it -to be his card. But while I
am counting down these cards, I am combining busi-
ness with pleasure, and secretly note the twenty-
seventh card, as I pass it, for it will be the next card
Having turned up the first chosen card, I restore
the pack to its original order, and reveal the next by
"mind reading," merely naming it while holding the
pack to my forehead, etc. The third chosen card I
announce as occupying the fourteenth position in the
pack, and while counting down to it, secretly note
No. 5, which is named in due time. This leaves one
chosen card not yet produced, and as this card reposes
conveniently on the top of the pack, I am in a position
to reveal it in some striking manner as an appro-
priate finish to the experiment. My own favorite
method is to give the cards a false shuffle at this point,
in ;the following manner: First, the two top cards
are passed into the, right hand,, after which the re-
mainder of the pack is shuffled off on these two cards
in parcels of twos and threes. This operation .leaves
the selected card second from the bottom.
Holding the pack with the bottom card facing
the audience,, the spectator who selected the card I
am about to reveal is asked, if he had the privilege of
naming it, what number he would suggest for his
The Magic Art 87
card to appear at. Assuming that his answer is
"five," I hold the pack face down in position for exe-
cuting the sleight known as the "glide," and remove
the bottom card, counting "one." As the right hand
approaches to draw a second card off the bottom of
pack, the bottom card is drawn back, and the card
next above the chosen card is counted as "two;" and
this operation is repeated until four cards (one less
than the chosen number) are counted down on the
table. The selected card is then permitted to square
itself with the pack, and is removed as the fifth card,
the chosen number.
I continue, "I will show you one more experiment
with the cards. It's really a very remarkable thing,
because I frankly admit that I, myself, do not know
how the result is brought about. Perhaps some of you
can solve the problem."
While a spectator is shuffling the pack, I pro-
duce from my pocket a pair of small dice, which I
request some one to throw several times, in order to
satisfy my auditors that they are "all fair." The
gentleman who is shuffling the cards retains pos-
session of them. He is first requested to throw
the dice on the table, while I turn away, and, taking
the total number of spots uppermost on the dice,
to count down to such number from the top of the
pack, and note such card that stands at that num-
ber, then replacing the cards in their original posi-
tion. This being done, I take the pack and place
it behind my back, saying, "A card has been chosen
by the throw of the dice, and now stands at some
number in the pack known only to this gentleman.
Notwithstanding this, however, I shall cause the
88 The Magic Art
chosen card to appear at any number you may wish.
What shall the number be? Fifteen? Give me a
pretty good number now." Say No. 21 is chosen. In
a minute or two I bring the cards from behind my
back and square them up on the table. "Your card
is now at No. 21," I declare to the spectator assisting.
who then counts down from the top of the pack, com-
mencvng with the number originally cast by the dice.
If the total number of the dice were eight, the specta-
tor counts the top as eight, the next nine, and so on
to twenty, when the twenty-first card proves to be
the selected card, originally noted at the eighth posi.
tion in the pack.
The solution of the trick is simple enough.
When I place the cards behind my back, and request
my audtors to choose "a good number," all that is
necessary is to have a number higher than the number
thrown by the dice selected for the appearance of the
card. Therefore, when some such number as "21"
is called for, I hold the cards behind my back and
noiselessly count off twenty-one cards from the top of
the pack, thus reversing their order, and replacing
them, in such reverse order, on the top again. Now,
no matter what the number thrown by the dice may
have been, if the counting -is begun at the number
thrown by the dice, the chosen card will always turn
up at the desired number.
The above series of card experiments will be
found easy to master, and very entertaining. Other
effective additions can be made as desired.
The Torn Card Trick
This popular card problem is entitled to share
the same honors bestowed upon such classics as the
The Magic Art 89
Four Ace Trick, the Rising Cards, etc., for when it
is properly presented no more incomprehensible effect
can be found in the whole range of card magic.
There are many versions of the Torn. Card Trick,
some involving the restoration of the selected card
in a frame, some in an envelope, and one of the best
methods effects the restoration of the card in the flame
of a candle. Of all these methods I have selected
three which I have used at different times with the
very finest results.
The first method which I shall explain is the in-
vention of Mr. Frederick Barrington, and its secret
first appeared in print in Mr. Downs' "Art of Magic."
My own presentation of the trick may be slightly dif-
ferent from the inventor's, but the root idea is his.
The requisites and preparation are as follows :
A pack of cards. This may be a forcing pack, if
A pocket handkerchief prepared to the extent
that the hem in one corner has been opened, -and a
playing card, torn into quarters, and the pieces
stacked, is inserted into the hem, which is then closed
with a few stitches.
Five envelopes, one fitting inside the other, each
of four of them containing a card similar to the one
to be forced (say, for the purpose of explanation, the
Queen of Clubs), except that one-fourth of the card
is missing. Fig. 13 shows how these four duplicate
cards are prepared, with their loose corners. It
should be noted that the same corner is not cut from
all the cards, otherwise the similarity might be no-
ticed. The four envelopes are secretly numbered 1,
2, 3, 4, and they are nested so as to have one card
The Magic Art
in each envelope to match the one to be drawn. The
four corners or pieces that have been torn from the
cards are numbered to correspond With the cards in
the envelopes. That is to say,, the envelope . marked
"1" contains the card whose missing corner is also
marked "X." The four envelopes are then sealed and
The Magic Aet 91
nested, and placed inside of the large envelope, which
is suspended somewhere in the room where I am going
to perform. The_,four numbered pieces of the cards
are squared up together on the table, and a small
pair of scissors placed on them. The pieces of the
cards are face dovm, and the secret numbers are writ-
ten in one corner on the back of each. My own par-
ticular system of marking is a single dot for "1," two
dots for "2," and so on, using the same colored ink
as that with which the backs of the cards are printed.
I begin operations by forcing the Queen of Clubs
(or whatever the card may be) on a lady. While she
is noting the card, I drop the pack on the table, and
with my left hand pick up the pieces of cards and
scissors together. As I turn around I request the lady
to state aloud for the benefit of the company the
name of the card she holds, and when she complies I
continue-: "Now I want you to take these scissors
and cut the Queen of Clubs in half." I offer the
scissors with my right hand, retaining the card pieces
in my left by the finger palm. When the lady has cut
the card, I request her to place the halves together,
and to further reduce the card to quarters. I extend
my right hand and receive the four pieces on the fin-
gers in position for the finger palm. This hand im-
mediately turns over, covering the left hand, and ap-
parently leaving the card pieces in the latter. As a
matter of fact, the right hand retains its pieces in the
finger palm, while the pieces in the left hand are im-
mediately fanned. With the palm of the right hand
downward, I take the scissors from the lady and place
them in one of my upper vest pockets, getting rid of
the card pieces in the same operation.
92 The Magic Art
My right hand now joins the left and assists in
spreading the four pieces of cards in front of the lady.
The faces of these quarter cards are to the front, so
that the secret marks are facing me, and when I
invite the lady to retain one piece, impressing upon
her the utmost freedom of choice, a mere glance at
the backs of the remaining pieces reveals the number
of the chosen piece.
While I am telling the lady to retain the piece as
a means of positive identification of her card later on,
my right hand goes to my coat pocket and brings out
the prepared handkerchief. This is spread over the
three pieces of cards held at the finger tips of my left
hand. As soon as they are screened the card pieces
are taken in the finger palm, the right hand pushing
the prepared corner of the handkerchief into the mid-
dle from below. This latter hand then comes up and
seizes the little card parcel through the handkerchief,
and some obliging gentleman is invited to hold it in a
I now direct the attention of my auditors to the
suspended envelope, which, I remind them, has been
in plain view of everyone throughout the entertain-
ment. While I am speaking I carelessly insert my
hand into my left trousers' pocket, thus getting rid of
the finger-palmed card pieces. I immediately with-
draw the hand, bringing out my pen-knife. I explain
that my problem consists of precipitating the pieces
of card from the handkerchief into the sealed envel-
ope. I will do even better than that. I will com-
pletely restore the card during its little journey. I
sieze a corner of the handkerchief held by the gentle-
man, and cry "Go!" snapping the handkerchief in
The Magic Art 93
the air, to prove the disappearance of the card pieces.
I spread the handkerchief, showing it on both sides,
then place it in my pocket. I cut down the suspended
envelope, by the aid of my pen-knife, and slit open
the outermost one of the nest. Any one of the four
inner envelopes are easily and quickly identified by
their numbers. If the lady is holding the card cor-
ner bearing, say, three dots, I remove the envelope
bearing the same marking. I toss the remainder of
the nest of envelopes to one side as having no further
purpose in the experiment, and carry the chosen one
down to the lady. She opens same and finds, appar-
ently, her card completely restored with the exception
of the missing piece, which she compares and finds
it fits exactly.
The Card in the Loaf
The effect of this version of the Torn Card Trick
is very good, and was one of the specialties of Mr.
Ray Newton on the chautauqua platform.
The requisites consist of a forcing pack of cards,
a conjurer's pistol provided with the usual nickeled
funnel, a loaf of bread and a grocer's paper bag suf-
ficiently large to accommodate the loaf.
Beforehand, one of the force cards, say the Jack
of Spades, is mutilated to the extent of tearing off
one of its corners, and this corner is stuck, by means
of a pellet of wax, just inside the funnel of the pis-
tol. Across one end of the loaf of bread (which
should not be too fresh, to permit of making a clean
incision) a wide, slit is made by the aid of a sharp
knife, reaching a:t least an inch and a half beyond the
center of the loaf. Into this slit the torn corner
Jack of Spades is carefully inserted, so that the cen-
The Magic Art
ter of the card is at or near the very center of the loaf.
The latter is then put into the paper bag, the top of
which is drawn up and tied with a string, and the
parcel suspended where it will be in plain view of the
audience from the beginning of the entertainment.
When the performer goes down with the' pack of
cfrfs, he forces the Jack of Spades. He requests the
spectator to tear the card into small pieces, and then
to deposit all the pieces into the funnel of his pistol,
which he presents funnel up for the purpose. When
the spectator complies, the conjurer recalls that per-
haps the person would like to retain a piece of the
card for later identification, and he forthwith inserts
The Magic Art 95
his hand into the funnel and brings out a corner, sup-
posedly of the "drawn card, which is presented to the
lady or gentleman assisting in the experiment. But
when the performer inserts his hand into the funnel,
he really dislodges the card corner previously stuck
there, and it is the piece which is given to be held.
A wad of paper is now rammed down on the card
pieces in the pistol, and a little fun afforded in select-
ing a good marksman in the audience. The conjurer
stands beside the man or boy who is willing to dis-
charge the pistol, and directs the aim at the suspended
paper bag. At the count of three the pistol is dis-
charged; the performer seizes the pistol (to prevent
any inclination on the part of the spectator to investi-
gate the contents of the funnel), and runs upon the
platform. He pulls down the suspended parcel and
tears off its wrapper, revealing the loaf. He reflects
a moment, as if puzzled over the contents of the parcel ;
then he breaks the loaf across the middle, revealing
-imbedded in its very center, the missing card. By
reference to Fig. 14, it will be noted that the enter.
tainer removes that end of the loaf which exposes the
whole end of the card, the mutilated end being con-
cealed in the lower half of the loaf. He states, "You
see I have completely restored your card — not a single
piece missing. Am I not correct?" Generally the
spectator so addressed feels a hesitancy about expos-
ing (as he or she believes) the conjurer, even though
the corner of the card is in their possession, so when
the performer apparently notes such hesitancy, he
recollects that a piece of the card w^as retained by the
spectator for later ic'entification, and forthwith draws
the card out of the remainder of the loaf, revealing
96 The Magic Art
the missing corner. The card is passed down to the
spectator, who, naturally, finds the corner to fit ex-
The Card, Orange and Candle
This Torn Card Trick demands a little previous
preparation, but it is time well spent by the conjurer,
for it is one of the most mysterious and spectacular
experiments in card magic.
The requisites consist of the following:
A forcing pack, unless you force from an or-
A pocket handkerchief prepared as in the first
method; that is, with four card pieces stitched in the
hem at one corner.
A mechanical candle-stick employed for causing
the magical appearance of a card in the flame of the
A pistol provided with a funnel.
A small plate and a fruit knife.
One of the oranges is "'faked" beforehand by re.
moving the pip (which is saved for future use), and
the pointed end of a lead pencil pushed into the top
of the orange in the exact spot from which the pip was
taken. Some times the tough, fibrous core of the
orange can be removed without difficulty, although
the introduction of the pencil will generally make an
opening sufficient to answer the purpose intended.
Two cards are now removed from the forcing
pack, say Kings of Hearts. From one of them is torn
a corner (which is preserved), and the torn card is
soaked in water for a few moments, after which it is
rolled up tightly, as you would roll a cigarette, when
The Magic Art 97
it is gently forced into the small hole in the orange,
care being taken not to tear the skin of the fruit in
this operation. The card is forced well into the
orange, after which a little of the fibrous substance
from another orange is used to close the hole. By the
aid of a little adhesive wax the pip is attached to its
proper place, when the closest examination will not
reveal anything wrong with the fruit.
This prepared orange should be marked so that
it can readily be identified among the other two
oranges upon the plate.
The corner that has been torn from this King of
Hearts is placed under the forcing pack of cards upon
The second King of Hearts is placed in the clip
of the spring arm on the candle-stick, and concealed
in the base of the latter in the usual manner, the re-
leasing thread running off to the screen or wing, to
the hand of the assistant.
When the conjurer begins the trick, he comes
forward with the plate of oranges, and by the
aid of a little adroitness the prepared orange, is
forced upon a spectator. If, however, the first per-
son to take an orange from the plate persists in se-
lecting one of the unprepared ones, the performer
merely requests him to examine it thoroughly, and
passes on to another party. If the three oranges
are arranged on the plate in the beginning in the form
of a triangle, with the prepared orange at the apex,
it will be found that the latter fruit will invariably
be the chosen one.
After the spectator has carefully examined the
The Magic Art
The Magic Art 99
prepared orange, it is placed on the table at the foot
of the candle-stick, the candle of which is then lighted.
The performer now comes forward with the forc-
ing pack in his left hand. The right hand finger
palms the torn card corner. A King of Hearts is
forced upon a spectator, who is requested to tear
the card in half, and then to reduce it to quarters.
The four card pieces are received on the top of the
pack in the left hand, and the right hand now ap-
parently takes one of the pieces and returns it to the
spectator to retain, really giving him the palmed
piece which has never left the right hand.
The conjurer squares up the card pieces (so that
their precise number can not be noticed), and holds
them at the finger tips of the left hand. The pack'
of cards is dropped into the pocket, and the prepared
handkerchief brought out and spread over the card
pieces, the latter then being finger palmed. A spec-
tator holds the handkerchief in manner explained in
the first method, the prepared corner of the handker-
chief leading him to believe that he is holding the
original card pieces.
Finally, the conjurer seizes one corner of the
handkerchief, and tells the spectator to release his
hold at the count of three. The performer accord-
ingly snaps the handkerchief in the air, making the
disappearance of the card pieces apparent. He re-
turns the handkerchief to his pocket, and gets the
orange resting at the base of the candle-stick on the
table. By the aid of the fruit knife, the orange is
cut open at right angles to the position of the rolled
up card, so that when the fruit is divided into halves
the card sticks up in one half. The entertainer car-
100 The Magic Aet
ries this portion of the orange down to the spectator,
who pulls out the card and matches the missing cor-
ner to it.
Apparently as an afterthought, but really to pave
the way to the second stage of the trick, the performer
inquires of the spectator if he or she would care to
retain the card as a souvenir ; that inasmuch as the
card is rather "soggy" with orange juice, it might be
a good idea to "launder" it by the aid of a little magic.
So he loads the wet card and the dry corner into his
pistol, and fires at the candle. The card, completely
restored, appears in the flame, and is presented to the
spectator as a souvenir of the performance. (See
A Hypnotic Experiment
In this novel trick the conjurer states that he
will next introduce an interesting experiment based
upon the laws of hypnotism. He explains that not
only animated objects can be subjected to the mes-
meric influence, but inanimate objects as wtell. For
his subject, he states, he will select some of the cards
with which he has been performing, first exhibiting
them to prove that they are in no wise prepared. He
then proceeds, by means of repeated passes, to charge
them with the mesmeric fluid, and taking two of
them, gently rubs them against each other, causing
one card to adhere to the other, which is held in the
hand. Seizing another card and rubbing it against
the second suspended card, he causes it to adhere to
this in the same mysterious manner (see Fig. 16),
and so continuing, if desired, until he has quite a
chain of them clinging together. They are then re-
The Magic Akt
moved one at a time, and once more shown to be un-
Of course, hypnotism has nothing to do with the
experiment. The apparently wonderful result is ob-
tained by very simple means, the performer using
specially prepared cards for the trick. In each cor-
ner of the black line which surrounds the court cards
a tiny hole is made with a very fine needle. Through
this hole a human hair is drav/n, and its end fas-
tened on the back of the card by means of a small
piece of another split card, which is neatly glued on
to match the pattern. The other end of the hair is
then passed through the second hole in the same end
of the card, and secured in a similar manner. Each
card, of all the court cards that are to be used, is
prepared in this manner. By an inspection of Fig.
The Magic Art
17, in which the hair is represented by a, fine y/ihite
line in the black corner line of the picture of the card,
the arrangement will be easily comprehended.
The remaining cards, which may either be spot
cards or court cards, are first split in the upper right
and lower left hand corners, after which a very small
hook (A, Fig. 18) is inserted at these corners, which
are then glued shut. Properly prepared, the cards
can be safely shown around without the slight prepa-
ration being noticed.
Holding a court card in the right hand, the con-
jurer with his left hand seizes a spot card and rubs its
upper right hand corner against the lower end of
the court card, and after a few pretended futile at-
tempts, slips the hook A under the tightly stretched
The Magic Akt
hair of the court card, causing the two cards to ap-
parently adhere in the manner described. Seizing
another court card and rubbing its face against the
back of the spot card, he suspends it to the latter, con-
tinuing this process until he has a chain of cards,
which are then removed one by one and are again
shown to be, to all appearance, unprepared.
A pretty effect can be created at the finish of
the experiment by taking the disengaged left hand
and placing it under the lowermost of the suspended
cards, making an upward motion with this hand and
causing all the cards to separate and fall to the floor.
Neatly performed, this clever little trick will be
found highly satisfactory, especially if it is introduced
after some more pretentious card experiment, as a
104 The Magig Art
sort of impromptu item. But it should not be car-
ried too far. Three, or at most, four cards "hypno-
tized" in manner explained will be found ample. For
instance, at the conclusion of the Rising Cards Trick,
in which three chosen cards have risen, successively,
from the pack, the conjurer can take apparently these
same three cards and "hypnotize" them as above ex-
plained. As a matter of fact, the prepared cards
are resting on the table throughout the trick of the
Rising Cards, and are merely picked up in place of
the other cards. The combination of these twb ef-
fects is very good.
The Cards, Coins and Glass
The trick of passing a few coins into a glass
which is covered with a pack of cards, the coins be-
ing seen and heard to fall therein, is by no means new,
but like many another old-time trick it is still worthy
of the conjurer's consideration. I have used one of
the methods explained in Mr. Roterberg's "New Era
Card Tricks" with such good success that I am in-
cluding that version here.
The table upon w(hich the tumbler is placed for
the trick must be either a regular conjuring table with
box top, or, if the latter is not available, a parlor table
with a partly open drawer may be used. Face down
on the table lies a card, the back of which is painted
the same color as the table top. To one end of this
card is attached a black silk thread (A, Fig. 19),
about fourteen inches in length, which is firmly tied
to a small ring, C, to which also is secured a black
elastic cord, B, the end of which is fastened to the
inside of the table or table drawer, as shown in the
The Magic Art
To set the combination of thread, ring and elastic,
the latter is drawn out to its full tension, and pre.
vented from flying back by the needle, E, which is
pushed partly into the top of the table. To the eye
of the needle is fastened another thread, D, which is
either passed behind the scenes to the assistant, or
may be secured to the performer's wand which is
lying on the table. I, personally, use an assistant,
so that I may stand at some distance from the table
when the coins pass into the glass.
My own presentation of the trick is as follows:
I begin by borrowing two half dollars, which I re-
quest the owners to mark. I exchange, these coins for
two half dollars of my own, and just as I walk behind
the table my assistant comes forward with a tray
bearing the water tumbler and pack of cards. He
places the two last mentioned articles on the table di-
rectly in front of the black backed card that is at-
tached to the elastic, and under cover of his move-
ments I secretly place the two borrowed coins beside
106 The Magic Art
each other on the prepared card. I do this with my
right hand, while my left is extended, holding the
substitute coins in view at the finger tips. I im-
mediately drop the substitute coins in the glass, and
the left hand takes the glass, while the opposite hand
picks up the cards. These movements are perfectly
natural, and effectually cover the placing of the bor-
rowed coins on the black card.
I now come forward with the coins in the glass
and the pack of cards, permitting several of the spec-
tators to examine same. It is a good idea to have
the pack shuffled, for it is essential that the audience
be impressed with the fact that the cards are unpre-
pared. This being determined, I return to the table,
placing down the pack on top of the coins on the black
card. The substitute coins are tipped from the glass
into my left hand, and the glass placed on the table
a few inches in front of the needle which holds the
ring, C. . The pack, together with the black card and
borrowed coins, are noW placed evenly on the glass,
the state of affairs on the table at this point being
exactly as shown in Fig. 19.
I now make the pass with the two coins, really
retaining them in the left hand, while the right makes
a throwing motion toward the glass and cards on the
table. At the same moment my assistant jerks the
thread, D, pulling the needle out of the table top.
This releases the ring, E, and the elastic recedes with
great rapidity within the table, carrying with it the
ring, thread and black card, which is so quickly jerked
from under the pack that the coins do not accompany
the card, but fall directly into the glass with a merry
The Magic Art 107
As all preparation has vanished into the interior
of the table with the elastic, a spectator majc come up
and inspect cards, glass and coins, which are, by the
marks on them, identified as the borrowed ones.
This capitol coin trick is well worth the slight
preparation necessary for its performance, as a .trial
will convince. .;.
Knarp's Coin and Ball op Wool
Knarf contributed many good things to magic iii
his day, and had he lived the art would have been
the richer for it. Be prized this Coin and Ball of
Wool trick highly, as he told me that it made a hit
every time ^i- was presented.
And yet the bare bones of the trick are very,
very old. By adding a touch of originality here and
there, however, Knarf "made a hit every time it was
presented." Surely this is food for thought.
Briefly stated, the effect \\^as this: A half dol-
lar, marked by a spectator, was borrowed, covered
with a handkerchief, and the coin then permitted to
fall into a glass of water, under the handkerchief.
A ball of wool, given into the keeping of a spectator,
was then unwound, when the original, marked coin
The plot sounds hackneyed enough, but, as stated
above, Knarf put just a touch of originality into the
trick, and obtained a highly effective experiment
thereby. A close analysis of his method reveals the
fact that his deception hinged upon the psychological
fact that the spectators can not follow two separate
lines of thought at one and the same time.
Knarf borrowed a half dollar, and had it marked
108 The Magic Art
by a spectator. Spreading a handkerchief over his
pahn, he apparently wrapped the coin therein, se-
cretly exchanging the coin for the usual glass disc.
At this point he requested his stage assistant to bring
him a glass of water, and as he lifted the glass from
the assistant's hand, Knarf secretly dropped the bor-
rowed coin into the assistant's palm. Now here is
where a little well-timed work on the part of the
performer and his assistant made the trick. Knarf
now came forward with the supposed coin under the
handkerchief in the one hand, and the little glass of
water in the other. Nobody paid the slightest at-
tention to the assistant, for everyone was watching
the magician to see what he was about to do with
the borrowed half dollar. Knarf asked that a spec-
tator hold the coin in the handkerchief over the glass
of water and wjould some young lady hold "this ball
of knitting wool?" which for safe keeping was
wrapped up in a second handkerchief.
As a matter of fact, the assistant, after getting
the borrowed half dollar into his possession, had only
to turn to a table placed rather back on the stage, and
while his back was turned, he inserted the coin into
the tin slide protruding from the ball of wool, and
then jerked out the slide. He immediately faced the
audience with the ball of wlool in his one hand, and
a rather large handkerchief in the other. By the
time he had reached the foot-lights, the performer
had placed the coin-in-handkerchief and glass of wa-
ter into the keeping of a spectator, and now turned
to receive the ball of wool from the assistant. The
introduction of the ball of wool followed so closely
upon the disposition of the coin and glass of water,
The Magic Art 109
that the spectators missed the real psychological point
in the working of the experiment.
The ball of wool was wrapped in the second hand-
kerchief and given into the keeping of the young lady
in the audience. Spectator No. 1 was told to drop
the coin, and it was heard to fall into the glass of
water. When he removed the handkerchief, Knarf
had a little fun with the spectator by telling him he
had lost the coin and must make it good to the owner,
etc. Finally, the young lady was requested to un.
ravel the wool, and she, of course, found the original,
marked coin. Inasmuch as she was holding the wool
in the handkerchief before the coin was dropped in
the glass of water, the experiment proved a complete
mystery to the audience.
An effective addition to the trick might be the
finding of the coin in the innermost box of the locked
Silver Boxes, provided for the Ball of Wool Trick.
The Coin and Orange Trick
I am indebted to Mr. Roterberg's "Modern Wiz-
ard," now out of print, for the root idea of the pres-
ent version of this very effective coin trick. Clothed
with appropriate patter, and the ability to palm and
ring coins, it forms a capitol experiment. In effect,
a borrowed half dollar, marked for later identifica-
tion by the owner, is conjured successively into the
owner's pocket and an orange.
My preliminary arrangements are as follows:
On table, a coin wiand for producing half dollars;
a plate, or tray, containing two oranges ; and a fruit
knife. The right hand orange (as viewed by the
company) is quite unprepared. The other orange
has a slit cut into it reaching to the center of the
110 The Magic Art
fruit, into which is inserted a half dollar. For the
sake of clearness I will call this Coin No.: 2...
Before coming forward I palm in right hand a
second half dollar. This coin . (which I shall call No.
1) bears the same date and general appearance as
Coin No. 2, and both coins bear a mark, say a cross,
on one side.
I begin operations by asking the loan of a marked
half dollar, which I receive in left hand, in readiness
for the tourniquet pass. I immediately carry the
coin to some gentleman on the other side of the room
for verification of the mark, "ringing" (exchanging)
it during the journey for the substitute in right hand.
As this second gentleman is not acquainted with the
original mark, he naturally accepts the mark on the
substitute as the original. While he is examining
the coin, I return to my table and invite the company
to choose one of the two oranges for the experiment
to follow, really forcing the- choice of the unprepared
orange (on myJeft, as I stand behind the table), by
the well-known alternative- of "your right and my
left." I immediately bring , forward the chosen
orange, together with the fruit knife, ' and hand both
to' the first gentleman (the owmer of the coin) for in-
spection, requesting him to place the orange upon the
point of the knife and hold same well up to the view
of the company. In taking the orange from the
taible, the palmed borrowed coin is left concealed be-
hind the wand.
I now advance to the second gentleman, incident-
ally showing my hands empty without verbally calling
attention to ; the fact, and take from him the substi-
tute coin, supposed by those present to be the original.
The Magic Art 111
Eetreating a few steps toward the table, I vanish the
coin (No. 1) by means of the tourniquet, simulating
a throwing motion with the right hand, which is sup-
posed to contain the coin, toward the orange held by
the first spectator.
Showing my hand empty, I walk to the table to
obtain my wand, getting rid of Coin 1 during the
journey, and again obtaining possession of the orig-
inal coin as I pick up the wand in left hand. I then
come forward, requesting the gentleman to cut open
the orange and extract his coin. He complies with
my request, to the extent of cutting open the fruit,
but naturally fails to find any trace of the half dol-
lar therein, even after dividing the orange into
"This is very strange, sir," I declare. "It is very
seldom that the coin fails to reach its proper destina.
tion, but inasmuch as it did not pass into the orange,
perhaps if you will be good enough to search your
pockets, it may throw some light on the mystery."
He accordingly searches his clothing, but without
results. So far I have had the borrowed coin con-
cealed in left hand by holding the wand in same hand.
1 now carelessly transfer the wand to my right, leav-
ing the coin still in the left. Offering to lend a lit-
tle assistance to the gentleman, I tap first this pocket
and then that one with the tip of my wand, finally
professing to detect a slight metallic response on the
outside of the coat directly over the inside pocket.
Requesting him to open his coat, I rub the tip of the
wand on my coat sleeve, "to arouse the necessary
magnetism," and then quickly insert the "coin" end
of the wand into the pocket. This operation brings
112 The Magic Art
no result, but a second attempt discloses the missing
half dollar mysteriously attached to the tip of the
wand. I remove it with my left hand, and immedi-
ately return it to the owner for verification of the
mark. The apparent removal of the coin from the
Wand is, of course, accomplished by the usual secret
The apparent production of the borrowed coin
on the tip of the wand from a pocket totally inacces-
sible to the conjurer, never fails to elicit the greatest
astonishment and applause.
Having, according to my own viewpoint, failed
in passing the half dollar into the orange, I now offer
to repeat the trick, using the same marked coin. I
therefore obtain the remaining orange from the table,
and, inserting the point of the knife into the slit
already there, bring knife and orange forward to the
second gentleman, remarking that the first is too
much of a conjurer himself to be trusted again. The
borrowed coin is now vanished once more (wrapped
in flash paper, and "flashed off" in the candle flame,
is a good variation), and upon Cutting open the
orange the gentleman discovers therein "the" coin,
which, being marked identically the same as the first
coin shown to him, is accepted as the original half dol-
lar. Walking over to the ow;ner of the coin, I "ring"
the substitute for the original, and the owner is bound
to admit that the half dollar is his own.
For those of my readers who do not possess a
Half Dollar Wand for the above trick, I will briefly
describe the version given by Mr. Roterberg in the
As before, two oranges are used, but in this case
The Magic Art 113
each is provided with a slit beforehand, in one of
which is inserted Coin No. 2. The trick now pro-
ceeds precisely as above described, the performer,
howtever, in the first instance forcing the choice of the
orange without the coin, into which he secretly pushes
the borrowed coin in the act of bringing it forward
for the owner of the coin to hold. The substitute
(No. 1), after being shown to the second spectator,
is then caused to vanish, and the owner of the half
dollar discovers his property buried in the center of
the orange upon cutting open the latter. Offering
to repeat the experiment, the performer now places
the second orange (containing Coin No. 2) into the'
keeping of the second gentleman, and vanishes the
original half dollar. Of course, the spectator finds
the substitute (No. 2) imbedded in the fruit, which
is once more secretly exchanged for the original,
which latter coin is returned to the owner for final
identification, thus bringing the experiment to a
A Dye Tube "Wrinkle"
If my memory does not fail me, this clever
"wrinkle" for secretly getting rid of the dye tube in
the Color Changing Handkerchief Trick was imparted
to me by my friend, Mr. C. Porter Norton.
A bottomless tumbler is placed in readiness for the
trick on a Black Art table, just in front of an open
well or trap.
When you have apparently ptssed the three white
silks successively through the paper tube, and brought
them out red, blue and orange, respectively, or what-
ever colors you use, you still retain the dye tube within
the paper cylinder, and, picking up the three colored
114 The Magic Aet
silks, push them all together partly back into the top
of the cylinder, at the same tvtne placing the latter into
the (bottomless) tumbler on the table.
Let the dye tube settle down to the bottom of the
paper cylinder, so that it rests on the table through the
hole in the glass, and permit the paper to open out
around the sides of the tumbler, cornucopia-fashion,
wfith the colored silks hanging over the edge.
Immediately this state of affairs is reached, draw
the tumbler back over the Black Art trap, permitting
the dye tube to slide into the opening. In other words,
the right hand seizes the tumbler, and, with a sweep-
ing motion, carries the glass up to the opposite hand,
placing it on the palm thereof. Advancing to the audi-
ence, a spectator is invited to remove the silks and
paper cylinder from the glass for close inspection.
The above method of dispensing with the dye
tube is particularly effective . for close work,
Knarf's "The Flag Between"
Some ten years ago my good friend, Mr. Frank
P. Knight (Knarf), now deceased, contributed, among
other tricks, the following effective version of the
Twentieth Century Trick, for a book on conjuring
which I was then planning. The trick involves sev-
eral points of novelty, and most of the objects em-
ployed are unprepared.
Four silk handkerchiefs, two blue and two white,
and two American flags, 8x12 inches in size, all un-
prepared, are used. Also an unprepared glass tube^
a vanishing handkerchief wand, a conjurer's pistol,
and an imitation candle consisting of a hollow paper
tube, with a short piece of real candle inserted in one
The Magic Art 115
The conjurer begins operations by knotting one
blue and one white liandkerchief together, which he
loads into the funnel of his pistol. He then forms a
tube of paper and places it inside of the glass tube.
The flag is draped over the tube and pushed down
Avith the wand.
The performer explains that he will try to shoot
the two handkerchiefs into the tube, and tie the flag
between the two handkerchiefs. He places the tube
in an upright position on a table at the opposite side
of the stage, and, finding that he can not see it very
plainly, calls for a lighted candle, which his assistant
brings in. This candle is the dummy, loaded with the
duplicate flag tied between the duplicate blue and white
silks. The lighted candle is placed between the glass
tube and the performer, who then shoots at thg tube,
and, walking over to it, finds that not only has the
trick failed, but the flag has completely disappeared
from the tube. The assistant now whispers something
to the conjurer, and after an apparent argument, the
performer remarks that his all- wise assistant claims to
have seen the handkerchiefs and flag fly into the
candle. Securing a piece of paper, the candle is
wrapped therein and the parcel twisted up until it
bursts, when the flag, tied between the blue and white
silks, is found in place of the candle, the latter being
produced, lighted, from the conjurer's pocket.
The best part of this trick is, as Knarf said, that,
the flag and handkerchiefs can be freely shown, as
there is no preparation about them.
The Handkerchief Sword
Many of my readers no doubt possess this fine
sword, by the aid of which a silk handkerchief is mag-
116 The Magic Art
ically produced upon its point; but its main objection
is the brevity of the effect commonly obtained.
My own method of presenting the Handkerchief
Sword creates a more pretentious effect; in fact, used
as a climax to a series of handkerchief manipulation,
it will be >found a most brilliant stage trick.
During the course of his act, the conjurer pro-
duces, magically or otherwise, some ten or fifteen
brightly colored silks, representing nearly all the col-
ors of the rainbow. These are finally arranged over
a chair back, or across the front edge of the table. The
performer now goes into the audience with a number
of small feards, each bearing the name of some color,
such as red, blue, green, orange, etc. The cards are
casually shown all different, and a spectator invited
to select one, to note the color written upon it, and
then to place the card in his own pocket. The per-
former returns to the stage, and, gathering up the
different colored silks, passes them one after the other
to his assistant, who groups them in his outstretched
The conjurer now introduces the sword. He as-
sumes a fencing attitude, facing his assistant, and at
the count of three the assistant tosses the silks high
in the air; the performer lunges into the falling silks,
and steps forward with one of the handkerchiefs im-
paled on the sword tip. . The spectator who selected
the color card verifies the color of the silk caught on
Of course, the particular color is forced upon the
spectator, the lower section of the. packet of cards
bearing different color words, while the top section
The Magic Art 117
has the same color word written on some ten or a
dozen cards. Say the color is to be green, the hand-
kerchief sword is beforehand duly . arranged with a
green silk, and a duplicate green silk is among the
other colored handkerchiefs used in the act. When
the performer goes into the audience with his pack
of color cards, he raises the pack and spreads the bot-
tom portion, showing the different colors wiritten
thereon. Lowering the pack, he spreads the top por-
tion and requests a spectator to select one. Naturally,
one of the "force" cards is drawn, which is placed in
spectator's pocket. When the conjurer returns to the
stage, he gathers up the silks and passes them, one
by one, to his assistant, who receives them in his left
hand and thence passes them to the right, where they
are seized by one corner between the thumb and fore-
finger. This procedure is followed with a purpose,
for the assistant wears a sleeve pull, which terminates
in a long gut loop slipped over the first and second
fingers of the right hand, and thence up the sleeve.
The silk of the forced color is about the third silk
passed to the assistant, and as he transfers it from
his left hand to the right, he passes its corner through
the loop of the pull. The remaining silks are grouped
jn the same hand.
The conjurer now seizes the sword and faces the
assistant, who tosses the silks into the air. The higher
the silks are tossed, the better the effect. The
straightening of the assistant's right arm in the throw
brings the sleeve pull into action, and the green silk
flies up the sleeve. The magician lunges into the
shower of silks, and produces the duplicate green silk
on the sword tip.
118 TriE Magic Art
Improved Candle and Handkerchief Trick
This clever trick is the invention of Mr. Louis
F. Christianer, whose fertile brain has contributed
many good things to magic.
The performer exhibits a solid glass candle-stick.
A cardboard tube is shown to be absolutely empty,
and is placed in the candle-stick. A candle is next
lighted and placed in the- tube, but it projects above
the tube slightly so the audience can see it burning
all the time. • The performer then places a small cap
on the candle to extinguish it. Two handkerchiefs are
then taken up and rolled in the hands, and are caused
to vanish. The tube is then lifted out of the candle-
stick, the cap removed, and the handkerchiefs found
therein, all trace of the candle being gone. The
candle is then produced from the inside coat pocket.
Reference to the illustration (Fig. 20) will make
matters clear. The candle is a brass tube enamelled'
to represent a candle. There is a small cup for the
top end, as shown at "A." A small portion of a candle
with' a wick is in this cup. The bottom end of the
candle is provided with a small plug, as shown at
"B." This is readily removed, but at a short distance
is not noticed, as it represents the lower end of the
There is no preparation about the cardboard tube,
except that it is made so that the candle will fit in
same tightly. Also at one end there is a narrow ledge,
as shown at "C," running around the inside of the
tube. The lower edge of the fake candle comes in
contact with the ledge, and prevents it from slipping
out of the tube. The candle is of such a length that,
when pushed down flush in the tube, and after the
The Magic Art
top cap has been removed, the upp^r edge will be flush
with the top of the tube., ,, ., .
The fake candle is loaded with two silks, and the
120 The Magic Art
top cap with wick and the lower plug are inserted at
In presenting the trick, the conjurer calls atten-
tion to the candle-stick, which is of glass so that every-
one may see that nothing comes up from the bottom.
The tube is shown to be empty, and placed in the
candle-stick, with the ledge in one end downward.
Next the candle is lighted, and in the act of plac-
ing it in the tube the lower plug is palmed off. The
candle is then pushed down in the tube, but projects
above the top so that it is seen all the time. The cap
is then placed over same, as "demonstrating tht; old
time method of snuff ing candles." The duplicate silks
are taken up and vanished by means of the handker-
chief pull. The cap is removed, and the candle found
to have disappeared. Naturally, the cup in the top pf
the fake candle comes off with "the cap. The tube is
removed from the candle-stick, and the handkerchiefs
produced therefrom. Magical entertainers will find
this a very effective trick.
Holmes' Color Changing Egg
To prepare for this novel effect, a little prepara-
tion of two celluloid eggs is necessary. One of the
eggs is painted a bright green ; the other red. At the
broad end of each egg a small hole is made, into which
the knotted end of a loop of gut is pushed by means
of a sharp instrument, after which a dab of plaster
paris is cemented over the opening, and the spot
touched up with paint. The gut loops on these eggs
should be about two inches long.
Beforehand, the wand is laid on the table with
one end extending beyond the rear edge to the extent
of a few inches, and the green egg is suspended be-
The Magic Art
122 The Magic Art
hind the table by. means of the gut loop slipped over
the projecting end of the wand, as in Fig. 21.
The red egg is inserted in the small well close to
the front edge of the table, the loop on the egg pro-
truding from the well, and a handkerchief is placed
over this corner of the table.
When I finish a trick in which an egg has figured
more or less prominently, I place this egg (preferably
of white celluloid) on the table just in front of the
large well. Presently, I apparently pick the egg up
with my left hand, really sweeping it into the trap,
and holding the hand partly closed as if the egg were
there. With my right I pick up the wand, but the
hand goes behind the table and gathers in the green
egg suspended there, as it rises and lifts the wknd.
1 tap the closed left hand impressively with the wand,
which is then slipped under the left arm, and the right
(with the palmed green egg) covers the left. The
hands are rotated a little and the green egg exhibited
at the finger tips of left hand. If due care has been
exercised in the precise position of the hands, the illu-
sion of the white egg changing to green is perfect.
While I am exhibiting the egg, I profess to hear
a spectator remark that he does not like the color. I
say, "Oh, perhaps you don't fancy the Irish. Very
well, sir; I will show you something altogether dif-
ferent — say a bolshevist egg. You don't know what
a bolshevist egg looks like? Then watch."
While I am speaking, I pick up a glass and put
the green egg into it. This glass is bottomless, so I
rest it on my left palm when I slide the egg in. My
right hand then picks up the handkerchief thrown over
the corner of the table; the gut loop attached to the
The Magic Art 123
red egg is seized at the same time, and this latter egg
brought out of the small trap as the handkerchief is
raised to cover the glass. It is' not a difficult opera-
tion to screen the glass with the handkerchief, and
permit the green egg to settle down through the lower
opening into the palm, while the red egg is inserted
at the top. The handkerchief is then spread com-
pletely over the glass, and both taken in the right
hand, while the left, which holds the green egg, dis-
penses with the latter in the servante in the act of
reaching for the wand.
The right hand is now inserted under the hand-
kerchief, and the glass placed on the palm. The glass
is shaken, to prove, the presence of the supposed green
egg therein. I hand my wand to the gentleman to
whom my previous remarks were addressed, saying,
"You see when you are dealing with a bolshevist ele-
ment, it is necessary to take precautions. That is
why I have confined the egg in this glass. Now I
will ask you to tap the glass with my wand — ^that's
good, and," removing the handkerchief, "you see our
Irish friend has become the most radical bolshevist."
I roll the red egg out of the glass, and exhibit it
at finger tips, concealing the presence of the gut loop
with my thumb.
Christopher's Egg and Bag Trick
It is with a feeling of genuine pleasure that I
here present to the reader the original patter and
method employed by my good friend Christopher in
his inimitable presentation of the Egg and Bag Trick.
Every magician who knows Christopher (and his
friends are legion) knows that in his hands this con-
juring classic is nothing short of a masterpiece. His
124 The Magic Art
description constitutes a real lesson in conjuring —
a lesson which even the "old timer" may peruse to his
advantage. And so 'I say, if you have never seen
Christopher do the Egg Bag, you have missed a real
treat. He can set the patter, the misdirection, down
with his pen, but the personality, the magic spell
woven by the originator, can not be duplicated.
The description follows in Christopher's own
The Egg and Bag Trick as I Did It
No doubt most of my readers are familiar with
the impressive method of presenting the egg and bag
trick. Its only drawback in playing theaters where
there are balconies and galleries is the fact that the
upper floors can not see what you are doing when
you are in the aisles, thus losing some of the effect
of the trick. To overcome this, have two boys' come
upon the stage; I prefer men when I can get them. If
necessary, have the boys "planted," but do not re-
hearse them in anything that they are to do, or they
will try to "act" and thus overdo it.
There are several ways of making the bag. My
favorite is the one with one side double, and the open-
ing in the lower right hand corner in the seam. Pro-
vide yourself with a "Demon Handkerchief," a fan,
a wand, and several blown eggs. The egg to drop on
floor should be thoroughly dried out.
Presentation : "In my next trick I would like to
have the assistance of two boys upon the stage" — ^then
if slow in coming, "any bOy froin ten to sixty will
do." When you get the boys on stage, place one on
your right and one on your left. "The reason I in-
vite the boys on the stage is to enable me to perform
The Magic Art 125
the trick where everyone can see what is transpiring.
I will direct attention to a small bag, — perfectly empty,
inside and out." Turn bag inside out. The egg is
in the double side.
"The best way to prove the bag empty is to have
someone examine it." Have boys hold your arms and
while doing so you again turn bag inside out, and
have one of the boys feel in the bag to see that it is
empty, holding the egg in upper corner of bag dur-
ing the examination. Close bag, holding it shut with
the index finger; then say to boy on your left:
"I wish you would place the chair, the gilded one,
near to the footlights." The boy looks for chair, but
sees nothing but an old dilapidated one. You say,
"That's it." While the boy is moving the chair,
"Look out! Be careful how you handle antique fur-
niture." Lay bag on chair. "I also use an egg in
this eggsperiment. What I use is the blown egg, or
egg shell. I blow the contents so in case of accident-
ally dropping one, there will be no disagreeable feat-
ures connected with the trick."
Say to the boy on left, "I believe that you are a
good judge of henfruit. Will you examine the egg
and see if it is a real egg, or egg shell, as I explained ?"
Hand egg to the boy, and at the same time turn up
stage to get your fan and demon handkerchief. "Have
you examined the egg sufficiently? Then I'll relieve
you of it." Reach for the egg, and as the boy goes
to hand it to you give it a pinch, which will cause it
to fall to the floor and break. This is where you use
the dried egg shell. Pause — look at egg — look at boy,
at the same time moving your lips as if saying, "Look
what you have done! You have spoiled the trick!
126 The Magic Art
You little rascal," etc., etc. Look at egg — look at
boy. Keep a straight face and look serious. Turn
suddenly and look at the other boy, as much as to say,
"What are you laughing at?" Look back at first boy,
at egg, etc., and keep it up as long as there is a big
laugh, but don't overdo it.
Then break into a pleasant smile, and say, "Never
mind the egg. That is why, as I explained a moment
ago, that I use the blown egg or egg shell. I always
have twio or three extra ones in case of an accident."
Take another egg and offer it to the boy, and when
he reaches for it, draw your hand back and say, "Never
again I" and give the egg to the other boy to examine,
at the same time getting the double handkerchief
"Now before I touch the egg, I want you to hold
my left arm with your right hand, and you hold the
other one." The boy's dirty hand will stand out be-
side your clean arm. "I see yoti need Sapolio." Pause
for laugh. "Now don't allow me to place my hands
in my pockets. That is the reason why I have you
hold my arms." Make a bluff to put your hand in
pocket, and say to boy, "Don't allow me to do that.
I do it very quickly som.e times."
Wrap the egg in the handkerchief, giving the
latter a twist, and hand to the boy on your left, telling
him to hold it with his fingers under the egg so that
he will not drop it. Dismiss the other boy, and have
the remaining boy move over to your right.
"The reason why I dismissed one of the boys is
that there is a certain amount of danger in this trick,"
look at boy, "and I do not want to injure any more
boys than necessary. Now, you have seen the bag
The Magic Art 127
examined, proven empty and placed upon the chair;
and the egg wrapped in a handkerchief and held by
thisi young man. I am going to cause the egg to dis-
appear from the handkerchief and to reappear in the
bag, or at least attempt it." To boy, "Hold the egg
up high so that we can all see it" — ^pause — "say about
seven or eight feet, more or less. If you feel a slight
electric shock, don't jump" — ^pause — "any higher than
the ceiling." To leader, "A little concerto, please.
That will do, thank you." While music is playing; go
through motion of fanning the egg from the hand-
kerchief toward bag. Shake out handkerchief, quickly
showing both sides, lay handkerchief and fan on the
table, and dismiss the boy.
"The egg has disappeared from the handkerchief,
as I said it would; therefore it must be wlhere I say
it is — in the bag." Pick up bag from the chair, arid
produce the egg from it. If you are pressed for time,
you may finish the trick at this stage, as you have
"pulled" all the big laughs. If not, continue:
"I will do a still more wonderful trick. I'll place
the egg in the bag, lay the bag on the chair, and then
at a distance of several feet, cause the egg to disa]^-
pear from the bag without going near it or touching
it; a trick that you must admit is wonderful."
Place the egg in the bag, and withdraw your hand
awkwardly as if it contained the egg; lay the bag on
the chair and turn up stage to get your wand, at the
same time fumble coat tail pocket as if putting the
egg in the pocket. Advance toward foot-lights, and
say, "Now I will cause the egg to disappear from the
The audience will let you know that something
128 The Magic art
is wrong, at which you pretend embarrassment. "I
don't believe that you quite understand. I just placed
the egg in the bag, and I'll cause it to disappear from
there. That's understood, is it not? It is" — pause
— "not. Oh, I see what the trouble is. You don't be-
lieve that the egg is in the bag. Now I would not
dream for a moment of deceiving anyone. Certainly
not. There seems to be a doubt as to where the egg is,
so I will show you once more." You roll the egg out
of the bag with the Wand.
"Now if I wish to make the egg disappear, it is
not necessary to go near a chair or table, or to put
my hands in my pockets. I'll just place the egg in
the bag, invert the bag or turn it upside down, and
the egg is gone!" In the meantime you have slipped
the egg into the double side of the bag. Turn the
bag inside out, bang it on the hand, and fold it up
"We'll see if we can find the egg." Go into the
aisle. Have one person on each side of you hold your
arms, at the same time turn the bag inside out; have
another party feel in the bag and declare it empty.
The egg. is held in the upper part of the double side
until spectator's hand is withdrawn, when it is al-
lowed to drop to the bottom. You say, "Hold the bag
yourself." Allow him to hold the bag at the top cor-
ners with the bag wide open. Be careful here if any-
one tries to reach into the bag to jerk it away from
him, in this case again turning it inside out as if as-
sisting them to show it empty. While the man is
holding the bag, you say, "You see the bag is perfectly
empty, and my hands are empty." , Put hand in bag
and produce the egg, then return to stage.
The Magic Art 129
You continue, "now I don't mind showing you
how the trick is done, and I'll show you how easy it
is to deceive the public. There is no preparation
whatever about the bag. Get an egg, make a small
hole in each end and blow the contents; it makes the
egg light and easy to handle. That is the real reason
why I use the blown egg or egg shell. I might say
that it is an egg-shell-ent trick. Such wit! Then I
place the egg into the bag" (you palm the egg), "turn
the bag upside down, and the egg is gone ! The se-
cret is that I do not allow the egg to remain in the
bag. I hold it in my hand all the time. See? With
a little practice you can hold it in the hand without
any danger of dropping it." Or say, "With a little
practice and the aid of Le Page's Liquid Glue — I get
two and a half for that advertisement, — you can hold
anything in the palm of the hand without dropping it.
"Then when I have the attention of the audience
directed on the bag, or elsewhere, I slip the egg under
my vest. Then I can show my hands empty, turn the
bag inside out, allow people to examine it, and to hold
my arms. When I want the egg again, a little pres-
sure above it with the thumb causes it to drop into my
hand ; then all that is necessary is to place the hand in
the bag, turn it over, and produce the egg. Now,
isn't that simple?" Pause. "I don't believe that
you quite understand! my explanation. I'll explain
the trick once more, and so thoroughly that every
one of you will be a,ble to do it as well as I can do
it myself, or better. As I said before, I place the
egg in the bag" — slip it into the pocket of bag — "turn
the bag upside down and the egg is gone! I don't
let the egg stay in the bag; I hold it in the hand all
130 The Magic Akt
the time. See?" You look in hand, then in the
other hand, around the floor, and look surprised. "I
wonder where I laid it." Turn bag inside out, bang
around, and fold it up. Then produce the egg from
the bag. "I thank you." Exit.
I have described one trip into the audience, as
it is such a splendid effect ana creates a great deal
of favorable comment. If the performer desires to
leave this out, he can remain on the stage, manipu-
late the bag to show it empty, produce the egg there-
from, and then go into the pretended explanation of
The Paper Balls and Plates
This excellent impromptu experiment is based
on the principle of the cups and balls. Four small
plates, or saucers, are placed in a row on the table,
and four pellets of paper (preferably tissue) the size
of hazel nuts, are formed. The object of the experi-
ment is to place one of the paper balls under each
plate, and then to cause them to appear eventually
under one plate. To make my explanation clear, we
will number the plates 1, 2, 3 and 4, from left to
You begin by placing a ball in front of each plate.
Exhibit both hands empty, then take the ball that
is resting in front of Plate No. 1, holding it between
the tips of the fingers and thumb of the right hand.
Pick up the plate with the same hand and turn it
over, leaving the pellet under the plate. Ball No. 2
is placed under its plate in the same manner. Ball
No. 3 is apparently placed under the third plate, but
is really retained between the tips of the fingers, the
The Magic Art 131
back of the hand being turned toward the spectators.
The right hand immediately picks up Plate No. 4, and
the left hand takes the remaining ball. In placing
the plate over the fourth ball, the palmed ball is also
inserted thereunder. The onlookers believe there is
a ball under each plate, but the balls are actually dis-
tributed as follows: Two balls under No. 4; noth-
ing under No. 3; a ball under No. 2; and a ball un-
der No. 1.
Now turn over Plate No. 1 with the right hand,
and take the ball in the left in position for making
the tourniquet pass. Apparently take the ball in the
right hand, making a kneading movement with the
fingers of this hand just above Plate No. 4. With
this same hand lift the plate, immediately transfer-
ring it to the left, thus concealing the ball palmed in
that hand. The spectators see two balls on the table,
one supposedly having passed through the plate. Re-
place the plate over the balls, secretly adding the
The same operation is now repeated with the
ball under Plate No. 2. As there is no ball under
Plate No. 3, you inform your auditors that you will
do the trick invisibly. You therefore pretend to re-
move the ball through the plate without lifting the
latter, calling attention to the fact that you are hold-
ing an invisible ball, and then apparently pass it un-
der Plate No. 4, lifting up both Plates 3 and 4 sim-
ultaneously. Thus the four pellets are revealed as-
sembled under the first plate, and only four pellets
132 The Magic Art
The Chinese Marble Trick
This clever little trick has a sort of family like-
ness to the foregoing, in that the marbles are manip-
ulated at the finger tips on the principle of the cups
and balls, so I include it here. Neatly executed, it is
Of the four marbles used, the audience have
knowledge of the existence of three only. The con-
jurer exhibits the three marbles, having the fourth
concealed in the fingers, as in the cup and ball tricli^
He proceeds to place the three into his mouth, one
at a time, and very slowly, in order to show that
there is no deception. He then forms his left hand
into a fist, and holds it steadily in front of him,
thumb upwards. With the right hand he pretends
to take a marble from the mouth, the concealed one
being exhibited instead. The action of taking a
marble from the mouth must be closely imitated, and
this is best done by rolling it along the lips until it
travels from the roots of the fingers to their tips.
The sleight is quickly done, for the eyes of the audi-
ence are full upon the hand. Place the marble on
the top of the left hand, that is, on the doubled up
first finger, which, after a pause, open slightly, per-
mitting the marble to disappear in the hand. Now
with the right hand the performer actually takes a
marble from the mouth, which will now contain two.
He pretends to place this marble on the left hand,
as before, but in reality he conceals it in the right.
When the left hand is momentarily covered with the
right hand as it feigns to place a marble upon it, the
first finger is opened, and with a sort of squeezing
process the first marble is again brought to the top.
The Magic Art 133
The audience think that marble No. 1 is in the hand
and marble No. 2 on top of the fist. After another
short pause, the marble is allowed to again sink into
the hand, giving the idea that two marbles are con-
cealed in it. The conjurer, with the right hand, now
affects to take another marble from the mouth, the
concealed one being, of course, shown. In placing
this marble on the left hand, the same deception as
before is employed, after which it is allowed to dis-
appear like its twio supposed predecessors.
At this stage, the state of affairs will be thus:
The right hand, presumably empty, contains one mar-
ble; the left hand contains presumably three, but In
reality only one marble; the mouth, presumably
empty, contains two marbles.
Proceeding with the experiment, the performer
allows the marble in the left hand to sink until it
is in the position for concealing at the roots of the
fingers. If with the tips of the second or third fin-
gers it can be pressed firmly home, so much the bet-
ter, for the command to vanish can at once be given,
and the hand opened, palm downwards, of course.
If the marble can not be secured in this way, the
thumb must be brought into use in the usual way,
but the hand must be waved about a little in order
to cover the movement.
The three marbles are mow supposed to have
vanished. The performer can proceed to find the
first of them in any manner he pleases, say under
his coat collar, coat lapel, or in the pocket of a spec-
tator, etc. As each hand conceals a marble, it is also
immaterial which one is used. This first marble is
placed on the table, and another one found, This
134 The Magic Art
second one, instead of placing on the table, the per-
former pretends to pass into his ear, concealing it
as before, and after a few seconds it appears at his
lips, the one thence protruding being, of course, one
of the two concealed in the mouth. The marble is
permitted to fall from the mouth, and the performer
then proceeds to find the third marble, which he
passes, say, through the top of his head. The re-
maining marble in the mouth is then exhibited, and
the three wanderers are recovered.
If the marbles are not small, their presence in
the mouth, when they are not supposed to be there,
will be discovered. It is well to conceal one on each
side of the mouth, between the lower gums and the
cheek.. Ivory balls are preferable to the marbles.
The New Spirit Handkerchief
This is the original method of Mr. Charles Neil
Smith for working the Dancing (or Spirit) Handker-
chief in the parlor or upon the stage; and the effect
is.perf ect, the handkerchief dancing in every direction ;
forward and back, around in a circle, jumping
through your encircled arms, etc., and but one con-
cealed assistant is employed. The method is very sim-
ple, and Mr. Smith uses the same thread for the
Thurston Rising Cards, a Doll Levitation, etc.
First note Fig. 22, which explains the whole se-
cret. Note that there is one continuous loop of thread
used (A A), with a weight (B) at the lowest part
of the loop. This weight, and this side of the room,
must have some sort of a covering screen, or some-
thing in front of it so that the assistant working the
dance will be concealed from view, and at the same
The Magic Art
time be enabled to see the performing handkerchief
from his place of concealment.
This "safety weight" (B) is simply to keep the
thread taut and out of harm's way until you are ready
for the dance. Therefore, the three small screw-eyes
(C-1, C-2, C-3), through which the thread loop passes,
are placed at points safely above the performer's head.
Of course, the screw-eyes should be as small as
possible for parlor work. Screw-eye C-1 should be
concealed in the wall beside of a picture or other wall
ornament. C-2 and C-3 are behind the folding screen,
where the assistant stands. If there is a door-open-
ing to be had in the wall at about this point, these
two screw-eyes can be put into the door casing. It
will be noted that the loop of thread passes through
the three screw-eyes, and the weight is suspended be-
tween C-2 and C-3.
When the dance is ready, the assistant removes
the weight, but not until the handkerchief has been
136 The Magic Art
tied around the thread by the performer. Mr. Smith's
method of getting the thread is, that the assistant
walks across the room, or stage, with his hand over
the thread that runs from Screw-eye C-1 to C-3, and
hooks the thread under a pin on the front of a
chair back just as Mr. Smith borrows the gentleman's
handkerchief in the audience. Returning to the stage,
the performer holds the handkerchief in the right
hand, and while referring to the experiment about to
be undertaken, he pushes the chair back in a natural
manner, as if to give more room for his operations.
This is done with the hand which holds the handker-
chief, and it is an easy matter to tie one corner of
the handkerchief into a knot around the thread as
you bring the thread away from the chair with you.
The concealed assistant stands ready at Screw-
eyes C-2 and C-3, and he leaves the weight on the
thread till the dance is just ready to start. The even,
steady pull of the weight on the thread is much easier
to manipulate while tying the handkerchief, etc., than
it would be with the assistant pulling the thread.
The handkerchief is knotted quite tightly on the
thread, and as soon as the assistant sees that the knot
is made, he quickly removes the weight, and the per-
former permits the handkerchief to fall to the floor.
The assistant now seizes the thread at points D and E,
below the two screw-eyes, and by pulling on one and
at the same time releasing the other (a sort of "see-
sawing" motion), the handkerchief will dance back
and forth from one side of the room to the other, etc.
The manipulation of the thread in this manner by
the assistant should be thoroughly tried out until all
the possibilities of this method are thoroughly under-
The Magic Art 137
stood. The manipulation is very simple when tried
out with the handkerchief on the thread.
The precise presentation of the trick is largely a
matter of experiment and individua,! taste. In order
to make the handkerchief go backwards, you simply
back your own body against the, thread, pushing the
handkerchief along with it. To bring the handker-
chief forward, towards the audience, »lip your hand
over the thread and pull it forward. If your left side
is towards audience, simply let the right hand catch
the thread, and as though enticing the handkerchief
forwiard, you also move, aqd as the handkerchief is
perhaps dancing some six feet away, and two feet
ba-ck of you, you can easily make it walk forward
and back without being suspected. By proper manip-
ulation, it will go around in a circle, etc.
At the finish the handkerchief arises to your out-
stretched hand, and the instant you have the knot se-
curely between your fingers, the assistant breaks the
thread at Screw-eye C-3, and pulls the other end of
the thread (at C-2) as fast as possible. This pulls
the thread clear of the knot, and wlithout a suspicious
move of any kind you return the handkerchief to its
owner, still knotted and absolutely unprepared.
If you have never worked this clever little spir-
itualistic stunt, you will be more than surprised at
the wonderful results you can obtain. If you do try
it, during the experiment put the handkerchief on a
chair (or command it to leap onto the chair), and
put a derby hat over it. Then after the hat quivers a
little bit, and all that, the handkerchief raises the hat
a little and crawls out. It is the most entertaining
little byplay, and Mr. Smith has even pinned a little
138 The Magic Art
hat on the handkerchief during the dance, and it is
very funny. He would also have the handkerchief
answer questions by rapping its "hesad" on the floor,
etc., and you can secure no end of comedy and real
What puzzles the "wise" spectator is that the
handkerchief dances almost over to a bare wall, and
explodes the old theory and method of a man on each
end of the thread.
Gloves to Dove
In his excellent book, "The Dramatic Art of
Magic," Mr. Louis C. Haley describes a very effective
transformation of gloves into a dove. The trick has
been a favorite of mine for some years, and as I have
simplified the working of it, I am including its de-
The effect of the trick is this: The performer
makes his entrance, gloves in hand. He rolls them
up and makes a throwing motion over the heads of
the spectators, when the gloves change into a dove.
The transformation is so sudden, appearing to take
place some distance in front of the conjurer, that it
is really startling.
In Mr. Haley's version of the trick he employed
a pull for effecting the disappearance of the gloves.
After using the trick for some time, I dispensed with
the pull, as I personally found it needless. In arrang-
ing the trick, a small dove is taken in the right hand,
after which the performer is assisted in putting on
his coat. The dove is left in a position along the
forearm, inside the coat sleeve, and it will be found
to facilitate the performance if the shirt sleeve is
turned back above the elbow.
The Magic Art 139
At one time I bred many of the little white
Japanese doves, which are peculiarly adapted to mag-
ical purposes, as they are very gentle, and will remain
perched almost anywhere. Their small size also
makes them preferable to the common pigeon for
conjuring. I always use one of these little Jap doves
for the glove trick, and it goes into the sleeve easily.
When I make my entrance, I carry the gloves in
my left hand, my right . forearm being bent slightly
before the body to insure the dove remaining in his
place of concealment. I now roll the gloves into a
compact parcel, and apparently seize the latter in
the right hand, immediately making a quick upward
throw with that hand. It is astonishing the distance
that a bird can be thrown when tossed out of the
sleeve in this manner. My Jap dove will generally
recover his wings within ten or fifteen feet in front
of me, with only a light toss. He will flutter in mid-
air a moment and generally return to a perching posi-
tion on my hand.
When I apparently toss the gloves into the air,
I really palm the parcel in my left, of course. . Now I
learned in actual practice that the eyes of my spec-
tators are so taken up with the startling transforma-
tion taking place before them, that I have ample op-
portunity to drop the gloves into my pocket without
the least danger of detection.
I have used this dove trick in double parlors, in
which case I substitute a white silk handkerchief for
the gloves, as being more appropriate to the occasion.
In this case I make my entrance with the handker-
chief tucked into the outside upper pocket of my coat,
and while making my opening remarks I seize a cor-
140 The Magic Art
ner of the silk and jerk it from the pocket, drawing
it through my hands several times, and then causing
it to disappear by means of the "roll vanish," but as
before I have the dove in my right sleeve and the silk
is palmed in the left hand. I do not know of a more
effective opening trick than the gloves to dove trans-
> The Dove and Hat Trick
This trick follows the foregoing so nicely that
the combination of the two creates a very fine effect.
No originality is claimed for the trick; in fact, it is
one of Herrmann's variations of the Rabbit Trick.
When I have transformed the gloves (or hand-
kerchief) into the dove, and the latter has returned
to my hand, I carry it to the center table, upon which
rests a hat. Now projecting from the back of this
table is a perch four or five inches long, for the ac-
commodation of a second little Jap dove. If this
bird is perched behind the table a little while before
the opening of the performance, he will settle down
contentedly and never reveal his hiding place.
Upon one of the side stands rests a drawer-box,
whose inner dimensions are sufficient to accommo'
date a dove. When I carry the dove to the center
table, I lift the hat, showing it empty, immediately
replacing it, crown upwards, over the dove. Then
I change my mind, and apparently take the dove from
under the hat. As a matter of fact, I tilt the edge
of the hat that is nearest the rear edge of the table,
and bring up the dove that is roosting upon the hid-
den perch. Properly performed, the sharpest eye can
not detect the substitution. The hat is lowered, leav-
ing the first dove thereunder, while Dove No. 2 is
The Magic Art 141
carried to the side stand and placed in the drawer-
box. I say, "Now, if you watch me very closely, you
will see the dove fly out of the box, and back to the
hat." The box is opened, and its interior shown
empty. The dove has disappeared. Walking over
to the hat upon the center table, it is lifted and the
bird revealed thereunder.
■ The Contrary Fluids
This novel wine and water trick is an arrange-
ment of my own. I have never heard of any simi-
lar arrangement, and can recommend it as a pleas-
ing variation from the usual run of tricks of this
Upon each of two side stands is a tray of glasses
and a glass pitcher, the one pitcher containing water,
the other pitcher containing wine. A lady assistant,
holding a large covering cloth, stands to the right
of stage as the curtain rises.
The performer makes his entrance, delivers his
opening remarks (unless he works to music), and,
seizing the large covering cloth from his assistant,
produces a bowl of water and goldfish. The assist-
ant relieves him of this bowl, when the performer pro-
duces a second similar bowl.
The conjurer then states: "Ladies and gentle-
men, it shall be our pleasure to demonstrate to you
this evening one of the most astounding problems
ever witnessed. We call it Precipitation Extraor-
dinary, or the Contrary Fluids. Upon this stand you
see a pitcher of plain, everyday water, and a few
glasses. Upon the other stand, a pitcher of red wine,
and some more glasses. To all appearances, nothing
could be more commonplace, but wait a moment."
142 The Magic Art
The lady assistant has walked forward to a po-
sition behind the stand upon which rests the pitcher
Performer: "The lady prefers the water, you
notice, so I am left the wine. Lucky fellow! Pure
sparkling wine ! The nectar of the gods !" lifting the
Assistant: "Pure sparkling water! The em-
blem of sobriety!" lifting her pitcher.
"The emblem of sobriety!" scoffs the performer.
"I put no stock in that stuff."
"Watered stock!" declares the lady.
Performer pours a glass of wine and tastes it ; the
lady pours a glass of water, ditto.
Performer: "Ladies are always contrary; now
if she had the wine, and / had the water, it would make
a world of difference."
Lady stamps her foot.
Performer: "Very well; we shall see." He
fills a second glass from the pitcher, but the fluid
proves to be water instead of wine.
The lady pours water from her pitcher into a
second glass, and it turns to red wine. Performer
beams; lady pouts.
Performer: "Oh, very well; have your way,"
pouring into a third glass wine, while the lady pours
water. "They say Fun, Deviltry and Death lurk in
the wine cup."
"Yes," responds the lady, "and headache!"
"Let's mix a cocktail," suggests performer. He
pours a portion of his wine into the lady's glass of
water, and she pours back, resulting in clear water
in both glasses.
The Magic Art 143
"It's the female of the species!" cries the per-
former, and forthwith dashes all three glasses of fluid
back into his pitcher. The result is water in the
pitcher instead of wine.
The lady, at the same time, returns her three
glasses to her pitcher, and obtains all wine. She re-
fills the three glasses with wine, filling a fourth with
water. The performer re-fills three glasses with wa-
ter, and obtains wine in a fourth.
Finally, the contents of all the glasses are re-
turned to the pitchers, the performer having red wine,
and the lady clear water, as in the beginning.
The trick is simply a double arrangement of your
own particular Wine and Water formula. In pre-
paring it, the pitcher of water and its accompanying
glasses are chemically arranged according to your
system; while the other pitcher and glasses are pre-
pared in reverse order, to enable the start with wine.
A little experimenting may be found necessary to ob-
tain the proper results.
An effective termination of the trick would be
a wine and water separation, such as "A Chinese
Paradox," described in Chapter 2.
The David BEiiL Funnel
This is an ingenious arrangement of Mr. David
Bell's, by means of which any magic funnel may be
filled with water (or other fluid) beforehand, and
safely carried in one's baggage without fear of leak-
The funnel itself is the standard double affair,
but it is provided with two air-holes instead qf one.
The usual air-hole is found at the top of the handle
for controlling the fluid contents of the funnel, while
144 The Magic Art
the second, smaller air-hole (not over a sixteenth of
an inch) is made just below the handle and inside the
In order to fill the funnel, and prevent subse-
quent leakage, a small cork is pushed into the lower
end of the spout, and a large cork is inserted at the
upper end of the spout, inside the funnel. A second,
smaller funnel, with a spout that will enter the larger
air-hole in the handle of the trick funnel, is employed
for filling the latter. The air-hole inside the funnel
permits the fluid to enter the double funnel with the
corks in place, and when filled the small funnel is
laid aside and the smaller air-hole carefully stopped
with a pellet of wax. The larger air-hole in the handle
is likewise stopped in the usual manner.
Thus prepared, the funnel may be safely packed
in one's luggage without fear of leajcage ; and upon
setting up the show it is only necessary to remove the
corks and the funnel is ready for business.
Mr. Bell has also communicated to me the very
latest miethod of stopping the air-hole in an apparatus
of this kind. A small piece of surgical adhesive tape
is employed, and one end of the tape should be rolled,
a little, which enables the thumb to roll the tape off
the; air-hole' with ease. The metal surface around the
' air-hole should be wiped perfectly dry before apply-
ing the adhesive tape, to insure perfect results. Con-
jurer's wax will be found the best for stopping the
small air-hole inside the funnel, and is never noticed.
While on the subject of the magic funnel, another
very satisfactory method of stopping air-holes is to
use a small disc of very thin celluloid, say a quarter
pf an inch in diameter, or slightly large? than the
The Magic Art ' 145
hole it is intended to cover. Smear one side of the disc
with wax, and place same over the hole, waxed side
uppermost, after which the wax is pressed firmly over
the edges of the disc, effectually closing the hole, yet
easily dislodged with the thumb nail when desired.
One of the most effective methods for presenting
the magic funnel to an audience is the following:
When a boy is invited upon the stage to assist in the
trick, he is given a glass of water. The conjurer,
lacking another glass, takes the funnel, and placing
his forefinger under the spout, fills the funnel with
water from a pitcher. The boy is invited to drink the
water in the glass, while the performer drinks from
the funnel. The boy will not hesitate to drink if he
sees the conjurer doing likewise, and the filling of
the funnel with water not only impresses the spec-
tators with the idea that the funnel is unprepared, but
likewise accounts, later on, for any drops of water
which may work out of the double compartment in
handling, which often occurs wiiere the fluid is held
by air pressure. After the boy drinks the water, the
funnel is employed to apparently draw it out of his
The Watch and Pill Boxes
This is a capital parlor trick, demanding the min-
imum of skill. The conjurer borrows a watch and
wraps it in a handkerchief, giving this to a lady to
hold. He then brings forward an oblong box which
he opens, taking out of it twelve or fifteen pill boxes,
which he places on the table beside the large box.
The lady is then requested to determine, by placing
her ear to the handkerchief, if the Watch is still run-
ning, and answers in the affirmative. The entertainer
146 The Magic Art
then opens each pill box and closes it again, showing
that each one is empty. The large box, which con-
tained the small ones, is then placed aside, and the
lady requested to choose one of the pill boxes. She
decides upon any one of them, whereupon the per-
former takes the handkerchief from her possession,
shakes it out, and shows that the watch has disap-
peared. Upon opening the selected pill box, the watch
is found inside.
The handkerchief in which the watch is wrapped
is a prepared double one, inside of which an old watch,
in running order, is suspended by mieans of four thin
ribbons sewed to each corner of the inside of the
double handkerchief. In the act of wrapping up the
borrowed watch, the performer palms it, showing in
its stead the shape of the watch concealed in the pre-
pared handkerchief. He then goes to a table placed
rather back in that part of the room which serves as
the stage, and brings forward the box containing the
The large box is prepared by cutting in its bot-
tom a round hole of the circumference of a pill box.
A bottomless pill box, a shade larger than the other
pill boxes, is glued over this hole. One of the jtill
boxes, with its cover off and resting beside it, is con-
cealed behind the box on the table, and when the con-
jurer goes back to the table for the large box, he
quickly slips the borrowed watch into the concealed
pill box, puts on the lid, and as he lifts the large box
from the table, he pushes the pill box containing the
watch into the hole in the bottom of the large box,
retaining it there with the fingers of his right hand.
The large box is brought forward to a convenient
The Magic Art 147
side stand, and the pill boxes taken out and shown
empty as described. Finally, in lifting the large box
from the table to place it aside, the pill box contain-
ing the watch remains on the table, behind the other
pill boxes, the secret addition of one more box to the
lot not being noticed.
By the use' of the well knowft alternative, "Whicli
box shall I take?" and "your right and my left," the
conjurer forces the choice of the prepared box upon
the lady. He then shakes out the handkerchief, re-
vealing, apparently, the disappearance of the watch,
after which the latter is discovered in the selected pill
^ Another method of forcing the choice of the pre-
pared box on the lady is to place all the boxes on a
tray, allowing this box to occupy the most conspicu-
ous position. The lady will generally choose this box,
especially as the entertainer, by adroit manipulation
of the tray, practically compels her to do so.
My own method for forcing the choice of the pill
box containing the borrowed watch is as follows:
Each of the pill boxes is boldly numbered on its cover
with figures cut from an old calendar. In connection
with same I employ a pack of numbered cards, which
is arranged after the manner of the so-called "self-
forcing" pack. Thus, while this deck can apparently
be shown to consist of all different numbered cards,
it readily "forces" a particular number upon the un-
suspecting spectator who selects a card therefrom.
It therefore follows that, if the "force card" of this
pack is, say. No. 10, the pill box wihich I conceal be-
hind the large box in readiness for the trick bears
the same number upon its lid. When the trick reaches
148 The Magic Art
the stage where the lady selects one of the pill boxes,
I bring the latter forward on a tray, together with
the numbered forcing pack. From the latter the lady
takes a card, and when she has noted same, I lift the
pill box bearing such number from the tray, and hold-
ing it at the finger tips of the left hand^ sei?;e a cor-
ner of the handkere'hief concealing the watch, and
shake it out, revealing the complete disappearance of
the time-piece. The pill box is the:ni handed to the
lady, who opens it and finds therein the missing watch.
A borrowed ring or two instead of the watch may
be employed for this trick with equally good effect,
and perhaps less difficulty. In this case, one or two
cheap rings are sewn in one corner of the hem of a
rather large handkerchief, and in apparently wrap-
ping the borrowed rings therein, they are concealed in
the hand and the substitute rings are held by the spec-
The Mysterious Dove Pans
Two dove pans of neat design are shown empty
and placed upon separate tables. In the one pan is
placed a silk American flag," after which the lid is
placed on this pan. Into the second pan is placed a
dove, and this pan likewise covered. A transposition
now takes place. Upon removing the lid of the first
pan, which originally contained the flag, the dove is
found; while the second pan now contains the flag
instead of the dove. Both lids may be shown empty.
While the above patriotic effect makes a very pretty
trick, the practical magician will readily appreciate
the possibilities of this fine principle. When I first
hit upon the idea some years ago, I used it for the
invisible transposition of a black and a white rabbit.
The Magic AltT
One of the dove pans is constructed in a manner
familiar to all magicians. I will call this pan "A."
The second dove pan, which I will designate as "B,"
is the same type, but has the bottom cut out of the
pan proper, leaving, however, a rim about one inch
wide around the edge of the pan. A loose disc of tin,
with which to cover the bottom opening, accompanies
150 The Magic Art
One of the tables upon which the trick is worked
is provided with a drape and there is a circular open-
ing in the table top corresponding in diameter to the
opening in the pan (B). The opening in the table
top is disguised by means of a Black Art design.
In arranging the trick for presentation, the con-
jurer places his wand just in front of the opening
in the table top, for a reason presently explained.
The one pan (A) is prepared by placing a dove in the
inner pan, and the latter locked in its lid. The sec-
ond pan (B) has a flag placed in its inner pan, and
this is locked in the lid in a similar manner. The
two pans and their covers are placed upon one table,
the pan (B) resting over a little cube of wood, or
similar article, which serves to hold the loose disc of
tin against the bottom of this pan, thus covering the
opening in the latter.
In presenting the trick, the conjurer first seizes
pan (B) and shows it empty, the fingers retaining
the loose bottom in place. With the opposite hand
pan (A) is next exhibited, while the first pan is
lowered sufficiently behind the table to dispense with
the loose disc in the servante. Pan (A) is replaced
upon this table, while pan (B) is carried over to the
table provided with the opening in the top. . The pan
is placed directly over the opening, behind the wand.
The flag and dove are next introduced, and the for-
mer deposited in the first pan (A) , after which the
lid is placed on this pan. The dove is carried over to
the second table, and dropped into the second pan
(B). Of course, the bird goes directly through the
p^n into the box top of the table, and to prevent this
fact being discovered by the audience, the performer
The Magic Art 151
claps the lid on the pan the instant he drops the dove
therein. As the pans are mounted upon claw feet,
the presence of the wand in front of the opening in
the table top effectually masks the passage of the dove
through the pan into the table.
Upon lifting the covers, the dove is found in t)an
(A) and the flag in pan (B), and the inside of both
pans may be freely shown. (See Fig. 23.)
Many other mysterious combinations are pos-
sible. In the standard type of dove pan, only the
most flat objects can first be deposited in the pan
before the transformation takes place. In the above
idea, any object such as a dove, guinea pig, rabbit, an
orange, etc., may first be placed In the pan, immedi-
ately changing to any object of similar size.
The Tale op a Rat
"For my next experiment," begins the conjurer,
"I shall have to borrow several ladies' rings. Now-
adays, a magician is looked upon v|/ith such unkind
suspicions that, to protect his reputation, he is com-
pelled to use borrowed articles as much as possible.
And then, too, from a purely selfish standpoint, it is
so much better (for the magician, at least) to use
other people's property should anything go wrong.''
He steps into the audience, wand in hand, and
obtains three rings, which the owners are requested
to slip on the end of the wand. Returning to the
stage, he places the wand on top of a glass, the better
to keep the borrowed rings in view of everyone.
"When anyone reposes such perfect confidence in
me, as these ladies have in the loan of their rings, I
always take special pains to look after their property.
I am going to deposit the rings in this paper bag."
152 The Magic Art
He opens and shows the bag quite empty. Hold-
ing the bag under the end of the wand on the glass,
he pushes the rings, one after the other, into the bag,
saying, "there goes the little wedding ring; next the
diamond, and last the emerald," or whatever sort of
rings they may be. With his free hand he lifts the
lid off a large crystal jar standing upon the table, and
deposits the paper bag therein, remarking, "now they
will be quite safe."
A little mahogany case, containing a drawer, is
next brought forward from one of the side stands.
The entertainer lifts out of it a live white rat.
"There is' an interesting tale connected with this-
— ^box, not the rat. As a matter of fact, this little
box was presented to me by the Emperor of Japan.
The Japanese call it the Wanderer's Box, because it
possesses: the unique power of attracting to it anything
that has been lost by its possessor. Some of you look
incredulous, but I can assure you that I am perfectly
serious about the matter. I don't mean to say that
if one of these ladies who loaned me her ring pos-
sessed this box, she could immediately cause her prop-
erty to return to it. It all depends upon this little
pink-eyed rat, — and the whistle." The entertainer
takes a small whistle from his pocket and blows it.
"Now you have probably guessed the formula. The
rat is sent after the missing articles, the wihistle is
blown, and everything immediately flies to the box.
Isn't it simple? Well, we shall see." To a boy down
front, "Here, young man, you hold the magic wliistle.
Better step right up here, and, mind you, don't hlo'vi
the whistle till I tell you. You would get everything
all messed up if you did."
The Magic Art 153
The conjurer continues: "As we already know
wliere the ladies' rings are at present, we will just
deposit Mr. Rat in the bag with the rings." He re-
moves the paper bag from the crystal jar, shakes it
up to prove the presence of the rings therein, and
then drops the rat in. Twisting up the mouth of the
bag, the performer places it back in the jar, and
claps on the lid. He then carries the jar over to one
of the side stands, close to the front, so that everybody
can keep an eye on it.
To the boy, "We are getting on famously. You
saw me put the rings and the rat in the bag, and the
bag in the jar. I guess that's perfectly clear to every-
body. You have the whistle, so I'll hold the Wan-
derer's Box." He picks up the mahogany box, pull-
ing out the drawer and showing the interior perfectly
empty, then closing it.
"Now — attention, please. When I count three, I
want you to blow the whistle. Be sure you don't
blow it before! One — two — ^three!"
When the boy blows the whistle, the latter makes
no sound, the boy receiving a cloud of flour in his
"Goodness!" exclaims the conjurer, "I forgot to
tell you that the whistle must be held in the left hand,
alvjays! And you were facing the moon! Never
face the moon when you blow the magic whistle. Now,
that's better. One — ^two — ^three!"
The boy blows the whistle. "Fine!" says the
performer. "That's much better. Did you see the
rings fly into the box? No? Well, they travel so
fast it is almost impossible to see them." He relieves
the boy of the whistle, and dismisses him. Returning
154 The Magic Art
to the box on the table, he pulls out the drawer, turn-
ing it on edge to reveal it filled to the brim with bou-
quets. As a matter of fact, the box contains just two
of these bouquets, to the stem of each of 'which is ^-
tached one of the borrowed rings, which are thUs
returned to their owners.
The performer apparently overlooks the fact that
a third ring is missing, for he shows the box empty,
then walks over to the crystal jar and removes th^
paper bag therefrom. The bag is empty.
Retiring for a moment, the performer returns
with a bottle of wine and a glass on a tray, which he
places on the table. He carries the bottle and glass
into the audience, inviting several spectators to sam-
ple "the rare old vintage." While this is going on,
the conjurer suddenly recalls that three rings were
borrowed, and but two returned to their owners. Of-
fering his apologies to the lady, he hastens to the stage
and affects a search for the missing ring. Finally,
he taps the bottle with a hammer, completely shat-
tering it, and revealing therein the missing white rat,
with the lady's borrowed ring attached to a ribbon
round the animal's neck.
The novel part of this neat combination rests in
the fact that it can be performed without an assistant.
Like other tricks with live stock, it will be found ap-
propriate for a children's programme, and borrowed
articles other than rings may be employed to suit the
The requisites are as under:
The Crystal Jar, with metal mirror partition.
A Drawer Box, of medium size.
Two paper bags, of similar size and appearance.
The Magic Abt 155
The Magic Whistle. As above described, this is
the so-called "Torpedo Whistle," which may be se-
cretly adjusted at pleasure either to blow "all fair,"
or to blow flour in the operator's face. The flour epi-
sode may be omitted if desired, and any ordinary
whistle employed in its place.
Two small bouquets, either real or artificial, tied
with narrow ribbon, to each of which is attached a
small hook, which is best formed out of soft wire for
a reason presently explained.
A short piece of narrow ribbon, with a similar
hook knotted in the middle of same.
Two live white rats.
A Dove Bottle, of the Windecker type.
A wine glass, tray and small hammer.
A wand with three "dummy" rings slipped on
To prepare the trick, the mirror jar is placed on
the center table with one of the empty bags, partly
inflated and the top twisted up, concealed behind the
mirror partition. The duplicate bag is placed in view
on same table.
The drawer box is placed on the side stand on
performer's right. The inner drawer contains the
two bouquets, the hooks on the stems of the flowers
being arranged in proper position for finding quickly.
The outer drawer of the box is left open, and one of
the white rats is placed in this.
Off stage, the other white rat has the piece of
ribbon which carries the hook attached to its neck.
The dove bottle is left separated, and the neck is filled'
with a small quantity of grape juice or any other sub-
156 The Magic Art
stitute for wine. The wine glass and hammer are in
readiness upon the tray.
The .performer slips the magic whistle in his vest
pocket, and comes forward with the wand in his right
hand, the fingers conceahng the three dummy rings.
The borrowed rings are received on the opposite end
of the wand, and the usual exchange effected as the
performer turns to go back to the stage. The wand
with the dummy rings upon it is laid across a goblet
or any convenient object on the center table, while
the borrowed rings are retained, for the time being,
in the left hand. The bag is opened out and the
(dummy) rings dropped into it, after w*hich it is de-
posited in the front compartment of the crystal jar.
The drawer box is taken from the side stand and
the white rat removed therefrom, after which the
drawer is shown empty and closed. In replacing the
box upon the side stand, the borrowed rings are left
The magic whistle is here introduced, and a boy
brought up from the audience to operate it. The rat
is placed in the bag with the rings, and deposited in
the crystal jar, after which the lid is put on and the
jar carried to the left side stand, which little journey
enables the conjurer to effect the necessary half -turn
of the jar.
The conjurer takes up a position by the right side
stand, and while directing the boy with respect to the
magic whistle, he picks up the borrowed rings, from
behind the drawer box with his right hand, immedi-
ately taking the box in this hand. He pulls out the
outer drawer and shows the box apparently empty,
then closes it again. The boy blows the whistle and
The Magic Art 157
covers his face with flour, after which the performer
secretly closes the plunger of the whistle, and re-
quests him to try it again. This time the whistle
blows ; the boy is dismissed, and the performer opens
the box, showing it filled with bouquets. As he in-
serts his right hand into the box, he quickly passes
one of the borrowed rings onto the hook on bouquet,
and presses the soft wire together, effectually fasten-
ing the ring. The bouquet is passed down to the
owner of the ring, and while thanking her for the loan
the performer again inserts his hand in the box and
attaches a second borrowed ring onto the hook of the
remaining bouquet, which is thus returned to its
The conjurer now retires for a moment, carrying
the third borrowed ring with him. This ring is
quickly snapped on the hook on the rat's neck, and
the rat is placed in the bottle and the top screwed on.
The performer returns to the stage, bearing the tray
with the bottle, glass and hammer. H'e makes a pre-
tense of serving the liquor in the audience, and the
discovery of one ring being missing, the trick being
brought to a conclusion by the breaking of the bottle
and the discovery of the white rat, bearing the ring
on its neck, therein.
The Tea Chests op Wang Foo
This is one of the Wang Foo Mysteries, developed
by the author, and it will be found a real novelty in
this particular branch of conjuring. The execution
is clean, demanding the minimum of skill, and the
effect all that could be desired. The simple story
provides' the necessary misdirection for the essential
158 The Magic Art
moves in the trick; in fact, without it the effect
would be more or less commonplace.
For convenience in making my explanation clear
later on, I shall insert a number at each point at
which the performer has something to do that is not
known to the audience.
The conjurer carries into the audience a small
tray, on which are arranged three small tea chests,
richly laquered in gold, and a tall square tube of oii-
ental design (see frontispiece), which passes easily
over the tea chests when they are stacked one upon
the other. The lids of these little chests are open, re-
vealing in the first Chinese Keemun tea leaves, in the
second Pekoe tea leaves, while the third chest con-
tains three exquisitely colored pieces of silk, — green,
old rose and orange, respectively. The spectators are
invited to satisfy themselves that the contents of the
chests are exactly what they are represented to be,
and that there is no specialty either about the chests
or the tube.
Upon the magician's center table is placed a small
box filled with colored confetti. In view upon one of
the side stands is a small tumbler, an Oriental candle
in its candle-stick, a paper cornucopia, and a colored
silk handkerchief is thrown over the corner of this
When the performer has convinced his auditors
that the three little tea chests and chimney-shaped
cover are free from deception, he carries them back
to the stage, and places them upon the center table.
"These little tea chests, ladies and gentlemen,
were once the property of a crafty old Chinese man-
The Magic Art 159
darin, Wang Foo. I need not tell you bow the chests
came into my possession, for what we are concerned
with at this moment is their strange history, and I
think you will, find it interesting. I have shown you
this little chest is filled to the brim with Chinese
Keemun, or black, tea ; the second chest with the leaves
of the Pekoe tea; while the third chest is filled with
silk, — rare old oriental silk! What gorgeous hues!
(1) Now you might suppose Wang Foo prized these
silks for their beauty, if not their value; but such
was not the case. As a matter of fact, this wise old
Mongolian had discovered strange magic in their
weave, and so he took precautions to protect them
from theft. 1 notice that some of you are not accepts
ing my statements literally, as I had intended you
should ; but I forgive you because I have not yet given
a practical demonstration of their mysterious qualities.
"Like all high-caste Chinese, old Wang Foo em-
ployed many coolies as servants in his household, and
these coolies were the source of considerable annoy-
ance to Wang Foo, so he was ever devising new
schemes for protecting his valuables. He hid them
in all sorts of unexpected places. His silks he kept
in this little tea chest, just as you see them now,"
showing the silks in Chest No. 3, "and he always kept
this particular chest on the bottom of the stack, and
covered it with this long tube."
The three chests are stacked accordingly, and the
chimney cover dropped over them, by way of illus-
"Things went along for a time very well. Old
Wang Foo's treasured silks were unmolested, and he
was congratulating himself upon his craftiness. But
160 . The Magic Art
he overlooked one member of his household, — Song
Foy, the house boy, who one day, by the merest chance,
witnessed, an exhibition of his master's mysterious
magic, unseen. I will show you just what Song Foy
witnessed. He saw Wang Foo lift the tube and open
the three little chests, — Keemun, — Pekoe, — and then
the beautiful silks. (2) Wang Foo drew each silk
over his forearm, — ^the green, old rose, and the orange ;
after which he touched them impressively wjth a
wand, and presently thrust them into a little cornu-
copia of paper. After considerable chanting (which
I am not prepared to repeat for your benefit), Wang
Foo opened the cornucopia, and — Song Foy could
scarcely believe his eyes, — the beautiful silks had
"But Wang Foo was not yet through with this
marvelous experiment. He took the candle and care-
fully wrapped it in a bit of paper, like this, twisting
it up until the parcel bursted, — and now you see just
what Song Foy saw, — ^the missing pieces of silk!" (3)
The performer produces from the parcel the
green and old rose colored silks, only, in place of the
candle, drawing them over his forearm as before.
"And the candle, — well, in jUst a moment Wang
Foo found that, still burning, in the folds of his
robe (4)." To a spectator, "I beg your pardon ! The
orange-colored silk! Quite right, it seems to be miss-
ing. Things are getting a bit mysterious around here.
Suppose — ^now I have it! You will remember it was
burnt orange, so it must still be in the candle!" pro-
ducing the missing silk from the- candle flam*.
"When Wang Foo had completed his mysterious
performance, he carefully packed the silks in their
The Magic Art 161
chest, and put it at the bottom of the stack (5). Bid-
ing his time, Song Foy slipped into the room, lifted
the cover very cautiously," the performer suiting the
action to the words, "and peeping into each chest,
finally located the silks in the bottom one (6).
"But just as Song Foy seized the chest of silks
he heard the footsteps of Wang Foo approaching, and
in great fright he quickly thrust first the one chest
of tea, then the other, and last of all the chest of silks,
into the tube (7), and, in plain English, beat it with
all haste. You will bear in mind that he left the chest
of silks on top of the stack, and it occurred to him that
that was a pretty good thing after all, for when things
quieted down in the house that night, he had only to
slip in and seize the uppermost chest, containing the
magic silks. So he hung around in sight of the chests
all day, and was sure that no one had tampered with
them. You can judge of his surprise that night
whien, upon lifting the cover (8), and opening the top-
most chest, he found tea instead of silk. You can see
for yourself. Song Foy found the Keemun tea in the
first; the Pekoe in the second; and at the bottom of
the stack the chest of silks. Utterly dumbfounded
by this strange magic of the tea chests, the terrified
Chinaman hurriedly tossed the boxes back into the
tube, and ran off. But, mind you, he was wise enough
to again leave the chest of silks on the top of the
"Well, sir, after that first experience, you may
be sure Song Foy never permitted that stack of tea
chests to leave his sight for a single instant. He
wanted one more try at the chests before he would
be convinced that the witches were working against
162 The Magic Art
him. So presently he slipped back and again lifted
the cover. Whong-poy-sow ! Tea in the top chest
again; tea in the second; and the silks snugly repos-
ing in the bottom chest as before (10) !
"With the very witches staring him in the face,
Song Foy seized the chest of silks and tucked them
into the first thing handy, — into this tumbler, for
instance; and for the double purpose of filling the
chest to hide his crime for the time being, as well
as to dispel the witches, he filled the chest with josh-
paper (11). Then he quickly dumped the boxes back
into the cover, — ^mind you, the Josh-box first, — ^then
the Keemun, and then the Pekoe chest on top; and
throwing a cloth over the silks, he beat a hasty retreat
to his own quarters (12.)"
The performer pauses, then continues: "The
ending of this unusual tale is very, very sad. If there
are any ladies present who do not feel able to listen,
they will be excused before I proceed. Well, when
little* Song Foy got to his quarters, he thought he
would examine his ill-gotten gain, so he lifted the
cloth, and — would you believe it! (13) The magic of
old Wang Foo has again been at work, for the silks
have changed to the josh-paper," w'hich is now shown
in the glass, "and if we examine the stack of tea
chests," lifting the chimney tube, "we find the Kee-
mun tea on the top ; then the Pekoe, and," opening the
third chest, "you see the wonderful silks have invisibly
returned to the bottom chest." (14.)
The root idea of this interesting trick is based
upon that of the "Bewildering Blocks," as explained
)3y Professor Hoffmann in his book, "Latest Magic."
The Magic Art 163
•As in that trick, a fourth tea chest, exactly resembling
the other three, is secretly employed in my own ver-
sion, and this fourth chest contains three duplicate
silks, — green, old rose and orange. The chests are
three inches square. They are richly lacquered in
gold externally, the interior being finished dead black.
There is no ornamental decoration on the tea
chests, except on the front of each, and this consists
of a single Chinese character in black, which best har-
monizes with the gold. Of the three chests which are
first brought to the notice of the audience, this
Chinese character is different on each chest; but the
fourth chest, containing the duplicate silks, and of the'
presence of which the audience have no knowledge,
bears a similar Chinese character to that found upon
the other chest of silks. Thus, the ornamentation on
the front of the chests not only serves as a sort of
identification mark in following the mysterious move-
ments of the tea chests (in addition to their particular
contents), but also serves to point out to the con-
jurer, during the performance of the trick, the loca-
tion of the front edge of the lid of each chest, a very
great convenience in actual performance.
To prepare the trick, the three tea chests are
arranged in a row upon the tray, the lids being open
so that their contents are displayed. One of the
chests is filled with black tea leaves ("Keemun"),
another with green tea leaves (' Pekoe"), while three
pieces of silk are in the third. The chimney tube,
which contains no specialty other than that it is suf-
ficiently high to accommodate all four of the tea
chests in a stack, with possibly an inch to spare, ja
placed behind the chests upon the tray.
164 The Magic Abt
A shallow box or basket, filled with colored con-
fetti, is on the center table. The dimensions of the
confetti box are immaterial, so long as it is suffi-
ciently deep to conceal the extra tea chest, containing
the duplicate silks, which is placed behind the basket
in arranging the trick for presentation.
Also on this table are arranged a candle-stick
holding an oriental candle of a rich coffee-gold shade ;
a paper cornucopia arranged with secret pocket for
vanishing silks ; and a piece of newspaper 8x12 inches
This oriental-looking candle is the usual hollow
paper affair, familiar to all conjurers, but it is larger
in dimension than the standard size candle, meas-
uring one inch in diameter by nine inches in length,
the upper end being provided with the usual plug of
a real candle for the purpose of lighting, and the en-
tire exterior of the paper shell is handsomely finished
in a rich coffee-gold shade. Into this hollow candle
are packed, side by side, duplicates of the green and
old rose colored silks.
A second candle, resembling the paper-shell candle
to all outward appearance, but of different construc-
tion, is also employed. This candle is my own design,
and consists of a metal tube one inch in diameter by
nine inches in length. It is handsomely finished on
the exterior in the same coffee-gold shade, to match
the other candle. The bottom of the tube is closed,
while at the opposite, "wick" end a slanting partition
is soldered about half an inch down, for the accommo-
dation of the usual piece of genuine candle. In the
present case, however, about half a match is held
upright in the receptacle, and the space filled with
The Magic Art 165
melted candle grease, thus holding the match secure.
Just below the slanting partition at the upper end of
the candle is a small oval opening, giving access to the
interior of the tube. This opening is easily covered
with the ball of the thumb in handling the candle,
and when the latter is inserted in the candle-stick
the opening is, of course, turned to the rear. In pre-
paring the trick, a duplicate orange-colored silk is
pushed into the hollow metal candle, a loop of fine
waxed thread being attached to the final comer. This
loop is permitted to protrude from the opening, be-
ing "bent" upward beyond the upper edge of the can-
dle. Thus prepared, this candle is inserted, match end
downward, in the inside breast pocket of the per-
former's coat, and between the sides of a folded piece
of sand^paper, in manner familiar to conjurers for
producing a lighted candle from the pocket.
In view upon one of the side stands is placed a
small tumbler, and a colored silk handkerchief is
thrown over the corner of this table. Unbeknown to
the audience, this side stand is a Black Art table pro-
vided with two open wells of a size and arrangement
already described in Chapter 2, under my original sys-
tem of tumbler manipulation. The small well near the
front of the table conceals a duplicate tumbler filled
with colored confetti, and the handkerchief is thrown
over this corner to conceal the presence of the glass
and its contents.
With the three tea chests and cover arranged
upon the tray, and the duplicate chest of silks hidden
behind the confetti box on center table; the paper-
shell candle lighted in candle-stick, the paper cornu-
copia, sheet of paper, and the tumblers arranged on
166 The Magic Art
the Black Art side stand ; and the metal candle in pei*-
former's pocket, the trick is ready for presentation
(see frontispiece) .
When the conjurer carries the tray into the audi-
ence, the essential thing is to have the spectators
thoroughly examine the chests and their contents, as
well as the chimney tube, for by so doing the mystery
of the problem that follows is greatly enhanced. The
performer then returns to the center table, placmg
the chests and tube thereon, and dispensing with
The points in the trick at which the performer
has something to do that is not known to the audience,
(1) The conjurer again opens the chests to
show their contents, revealing tea in the. first two.
and silks in the third. A moment later, as the patter
indicates, he again shows the silks in their chest, then
places the two tea chests on top, and slips the chim-
ney tube over the stack.
(2) When the performer explains how Song Foy
saw Wang Foo lift the tube and open the chests, he
suits the action to the words, finally drawing the.
three silks from their box and draping them over his
left forearm. He draws the wand impressively over
the silks; then shows the empty cornucopia (which
has its secret pocket already opened), which is taken i
in the left hand, while the right draws the silks, one
after the other, off the arm and pushes them into the
paper cone. Finally, he opens the latter, showing the ,
comiplete disappearance of the silks.
(3) Here the paper-shell candle is removed, still
The Magic Art 167
burning, from the candle-stick, and wrapped in the
sheet of paper, the parcel being twisted up and bursted
in the middle after the approved fashion, revealing
the presence of the duplicate green and old rose silks
therein, which are once more draped over the left
forearm. This placing of the silks emphasizes the ab-
sence of the orange-colored one, and the audience are
not slow to observe the discrepancy.
(4) The metal candle is drawn from the per-
former's pocket, the match igniting on the sand-paper
by pressure on the outside of the coat against the
pocket. The burning candle is replaced in the candle-
stick with the opening turned to the rear, of course.
A moment later, when the performer seeks the miss-
ing handkerchief, he passes his right hand, palm to
the front, upward along the back of the candle, seizing
the loop of waxed thread as the fingers reach the
flame, and jerking the concealed silk into view with
such rapidity that it appears to spring from the very
tip of the candle.
(5) The silks are returned to their chest, and
the tea chests- stacked upon it, after which the tube
is slipped over all.
(6) In this stage of the proceedings the dupli-
cate chest of silks is secretly introduced into the tube.
When the entertainer explains how Song Foy cau-
tiously lifted the tube from the chests, he suits the
action to the words, removing the tube very slowly,
and' while he is peeping into each chest, the tube is
lowered over the hidden chest behind the confetti box.
A little pressure is exerted with the fingers, and the
chest is now lifted in the tube, the latter being placed
168 The Magic Art
down in front of the confetti box, to leave both hands
(7) When Song Foy hears the footsteps of Wang
Foo approaching, according to the patter, the per-
former simulates fright and hastens his movements.
The two tea chests are thrust, one after the other, in
at the top of the tube (where, of course, they slide
down and rest upon the duplicate chest of silks), and
last of all the chest of silks. .
(8) The manipulation of the extra chest must
now be reckoned with. When the tube is again lifted
it is seized at the upper edge by the right hand, and
raised very slowly. Just as the lower end of the tube
approaches the top of the third chest in the stack, the
left hand seizes' the tube near its lower edge with a
little pressure, thereby carrying away the fourth chest
which rested on the top. The left hand, therefore,
places the tube on the table, and the audience is un-
aware that it contains the original chest of silks. The
three chests m view are again opened, and the silks
found in the bottom one.
(9) This is merely a repetition of the seventh
(10) Repeat the eighth operation.
(11) When the silks are again found in the bot-
tom chest of the stack, the performer pushes them
hurriedly into the tumbler on the side stand, and
fills the chest with confetti from the box.
(12) In this operation the performer secretly
dispenses with the extra chest, which now contains
confetti. As he is simulating great haste at this stage
of his story, his precise movements are not easily
The Magic Art 169
The chest of silks is now hidden in the tube, and
when the other three chests are dumped in upon it,
the one containing the "josh-paper" is the first to go
in. But no sooner has the performer "eased" it down
on the hidden chest by exerting a little pressure on
the outside of the tube, than he lifts the latter, reveal-
ing apparently the chest of josh-paper on the table,,
when, as a matter of fact, he has carried away that
particular chest in the tube, and it is the chest of silks
now seen by the audience. At this stage of the oper-
ations. Song Foy is apparently all confusion; he has
made way with the silks and filled the chest with
josh-paper, and the performer's actions should ex-
press his state of mind. Therefore, he has slipped
the chest of josh-paper into the tube, but as if unde-
termined he immediately lifts, the tube and picks up
the chest now revealed. During this momentary
pause, the hand which holds the tube is lowered to the
table, directly behind the confetti box. The tube
scarcely reaches the table when it is again carried
forward, but the movement is ample to permit the
hidden chest to find a resting place behind the box.
The performer therefore claps the tube over the chest
supposed to contain the josh-paper, and with the op-
posite hand dumps the two chests of tea in on top.
Leaving the chests covered with the tube, the per-
former now goes to the side stand and apparently
covers the tumbler of silks. I say apparently, for
when he lifts the handkerchief that rests on the cor-
ner of the table, he carries within its folds the dupli-
cate tumbler filled with confetti. The instant the
tumbler of silks is screened by the handkerchief, it is
permitted to slide easily into the large Black Art
170 The Magic Art ^
well, and the handkerchief is now draped around the
glass of confetti. The conjurer walks forward with
the supposed tumbler of silks thus covered.
(13) The handkerchief is lifted from the glass,
revealing "josh-paper" instead of the silks.
(14) The performer empties the confetti back
into the box on the table, and then lifts the tube from
the stack of tea chests. He opens each chest, reveal-
ing its. contents in turn, finally reaching the silks in
the last, which he removes and draws over his arm.
As in the beginning, the spectators may examine all
of the visible properties at the termination of the ex-
periment without being any the wiser for their pains.
One little detail in the performance should be em-
phasized, to insure a perfect effect. When the extra
chest is hidden in the tube, and another chest is in-
serted into the latter, the contact of the two metal
boxes will not be audible if, just as the chest is dropped
into the upper end of the tube, the opposite hand ex-
erts a slight pressure on the outside of the latter,
compelling the chest to glide noiselessly to the bottom.
The secret exchange of the tumbler of silks for
the tumbler of confetti is described with the small
Black Art table outlined in Chapter 2; but it will be
readily understood that the same exchange may be
effected by the aid of a chair, if desired, as likewise
explained in that chapter.
Later on, I shall describe another version of the
Tea Chests of Wang Foo, which I have specially ar-
ranged for children's entertainments.
Working Up an Act
WE now come to an entirely different phase in
the art of conjuring, and strangely enough, it
is one that has been almost completely ignored by
wl-iters in the past. So far, I have explained the arti-
fices and accessories, as well as individual tricks, em-
ployed in the practice of magic. In the present sec-
tion I shall take up the task of arrangement and pre-
sentation, of various groups of tricks, with suggestions
for blending them into a finished product of conjuring.
It is to be understood that arrangement and
presentation only will be considered here, as space
forbids the description of each and every trick!
This "working up" of a complete act is the
stumbling block of the average entertainer ; its im-
portance in magical entertaining may be said to be
sufficient to insure his success or failure, and con-
siderable time, study and experiment will be spent be--
fore a satisfactory arrangement is found.
Every amateur should have at least one set act
— ^that is, an act which he can make ready and pre-
sent on short notice, if need be, and under almost
any condition. There is a feeling of great personal
gratification to the amateur so equipped. An act of
a half hour's duration will be found best adapted
for this purpose, and if it is cleverly arranged it
can be cut to suit any occasion, from a ten or fifteen
minute "turn" up to the. full half hour, without in
any way- breaking the original sequence. The act,
"Fun, Deviltry and Magic," which follows, will
serve such a purpose admirably, and I shall make
172 The Magic Aet
further comment on this subject after a description
of the' complete act. .
Fun, Deviltry and Magic — A Thirty-
I call this a thirty-minute act, but it will be un-
derstood that much depends upon the patter and rapid-
ity of execution as to the precise duration of the act.
The writer has used this particular series of tricks,
with minor rearrangement here and there, for some
years, and can recommend it as an ideal magic act from
almost any viewpoint. First, it is very effective,
always holding the attention of my auditors from be-
ginning to end; and, second, it is easily made ready
and as easily packed up again.
The present act was not worked out in a day,
but was the gradual evolution of many ideas, duly
tried out (both as to fitness and popularity) by the
elimination process. At the same time it will, of
course, bear almost unlimited variation, and the author
often substitutes or adds a trick here and there to
suit a particular occasion, without, however, destroy-
ing the familiarity (to him) of the set act.
I shall first describe the precise effect of the
complete act, giving my own method of presentation,
suggestions for patter, etc., after which I will go over
the working of it in detail. As to the patter, let me
impress upon the reader this important (and yet so
sadly neglected) factor m successfully entertaining
by magic. In my own case, I consider the patter
which I use in this act at least sixty per cent respon-
sible for its success. Not necessarily the particular
patter used, but the fact that it is sufficiently inter-
The Magic Art 173
esting to hold my auditors' attention from one experi-
ment to another.
THE EFFECT : When the act is ready the audi-
ence see some properties arranged upon two tables
and a chair. I step before my auditors and, after a
few opening remarks, pick up a handsome little ma-
hogany box from the table. I begin:
"I was fortunate in obtaining not; long ago this
quaint little Egyptian box, which I am told was once
the property of an Egyptian princess named Karnac.
Princess Karnac lived about the time of the building
of the pyramids. Of course, I have had the box care-
fully restored, so. that it appears quite new, but the
old mysteries of the temple still remain, and I shall
presently show you some of them. You will notice
the box is without lid, and the bottom is removable.
I was puzzled for a time about this hole in the bot-
tom, but upon going back into history I find there
was an old superstition among the Egyptians to the
effect that a good little genii presided over the wel-
fare of the possessor of the box, so an opening was
always provided for his special convenience.
"I am going to try and bring this good little genii
to life here tonight. You will recall that Aladdin
rubbed his Wonderful Lamp, and the genii appeared —
just as this little piece of rare old Egyptian silk ap-
pears here now."
The silk (which is of a brilliant red shade) is
slowly pulled over the front edge of the box, which
latter has been repeatedly shown empty during the
above remarks. "I want the ladies to examine this
little piece of old Egyptian silk very carefully — note
its wondrous lustre and rare texture, and think of
174 The Magic Art
the marvelous state of preservation when you consider
the hundreds of years it has laid in the temple."
Well, the ladies examine the "rare old silk" with
great care, and some times actually marvel at its state
I now return to my table, and again facing the
audience, replace the red silk in the box, leaving a
portion in view. I continue, "Let me show you this
pocket. Empty, like every conjurer's pocket. See
What I shall do. By repeating certain incantations
of the Temple, handed down to us from the days- Of
Nostradamus, I shall conjure the little piece of red
silk from the box into this empty pocket. Listen!
Chiddy, biddy, bee; chiddy, biddy, bi; chiddy, biddy,
bo! See, the silk has left the box — empty! And
here in my pocket is the missing silk!"
The silk passes invisibly from the box to my
right hand ti'ousers' pocket. I now explain that 'by
merely reversing the process and the formula, the
silk will pass from the pocket back to the box, which
is duly carried out, and the pocket again shown
Stepping behind my table, I now, introduce a
glass pitcher of milk and a large empty tumbler. I
fill the tumbler with milk from the pitcher, and then
isolate the glass of milk upon a handsome, nickeled
pedestal standing upon the table. I then remove the
red silk from the box, and lift the latter off its bot-
tom, permitting the spectators to look right through
the box, after which I replace the box on its bottom,
and drop the silk back into the box, crying, "Go!"
All parts of the box are instantly shown, but the silk
has vanished like a flash, gtiU retaining the box in
The . Magic Art 175
my left hand, I step over to the glass of milk rest-
ing on the pedestal, and showing my right hand front
and back, insert my finger tips into the milk in the
glass, and slowly draw out the missing red silk, per-
fectly dry. I show the silk freely, then toss it back
into the box, while I lift the glass of milk off- the'
pedestal and place it to one side on the table.
I now walk forward with the box on my hand,
and reaching into same, again slowly pull out the red
silk, but to the surprise of my auditors a yellow silk
is found attached to the red ; a blue one to the yellow ;
then white, orange, black, old rose, etc., follow, the
silks being knotted at corners diagonally opposite, in •
a long string, the whole making a very gorgeous dis-
play. I continue:
"Really, ladies and gentlemen, when once these
marvelous forces are set at work, the possibilities
are without limit, and they can be applied to all man-
ner of objects. Let me show you. I will use just
one of these silks, say the blue, and this paper cylinder,
which has no specialty, being merely nothing with a
rim around it, and a round hole at each end. Several
other objects will be employed in my experiment, such
as this glass and some of the confetti in this box. I
wonder if some obliging boy will assist me by filling
the glass with confetti? Thank you; now don't make
a mess of it. Fill the glass right up to the brim. Such
faithful service merits reward. I am going to pre-
sent you with a wishing tube."
While the boy is filling the glass with confetti,
I return to my table and form a paper tube by the
aid of my wand. The ends of this tube are then
twist?(J up, and it is carried to the volunteer assistant,
176 The Magic Art
who has by this time filled the glass with confetti.
Holding the paper parcel before him, I give it an im-
pressive tap with the wand, pronouncing the mystic
word, "Abracadabra," at which everybody laughs.
"Don't laugh, please. I have merely borrowed
the good little genii of the Princess Karnac, and con-
jured him into the tube. Now, sir," to the boy, "you
hold the tube at arm's length above your head — ^my
goodness, no, not with the right hand ; always the left
when you fool with geniis. You almost spoiled the
good forces. I will take the glass and box, and leave
you thp wishing tube. All you have to do is to wish
for something and it will materialize in the tube.
Mind, you are not supposed to wish for an automobile
or an aeroplane, or anything else rather bulky, and
don't let your mind lose its concentration on the tube
for a single instant, or the genii will be disgusted and
return to the box." f
I carry the glass and box to my table. I remove
the blue silk from the top of the paper cylinder, and,
crumpling it into a loose parcel, push it into the lower
end of the cylinder, which is then replaced on the
"I want you to notice that I merely push the lit-
tle blue silk into the paper cylinder. Then I cover
the glass of confetti with this handkerchief, because
the mystic forces do not operate properly under strong
light. See, they are already at work — the glass and
confetti have utterly vanished. But they are not far
off, for we find them under the paper cylinder." The
paper tube is lifted, revealing the glass of confetti
thereunder, in place of the silk.
"Now, — I beg your pardon, someone asked A^hat
The Magic Aet 177
has become of the little blue silk. I confess I had
forgotten it for the moment. Perhaps it passed into
my pocket." I search my pockets without result, and
then go over to the boy, who has all this time held
the paper tube above his head.
"Have you been concentrating intently upon the
wishing tube? You have? Perhaps the blue silk is
in one of yov/r pockets." I relieve -him of the paper
parcel, and feel in several of his pockets, then : "Oh,
now I see where the trouble is. My assistant here
forgot all about the wishing tube, in watching my op-
erations, and taking advantage of that fact, the genii
took a hand in the experiment."
I twist up the parcel until it bursts, revealing
the missing blue silk therein. I return to my table
with the silk, and now replace the cylinder over the
glass of confetti. I roll the blue silk smaller and
smaller between my hands until it disappears entirely,
and my hands are shown quite empty. Then I lift
the paper cylinder from the glass, revealing the blue
silk therein instead of the confetti with which the
glass was filled.
"You see the confetti has obligingly made way
for the silk, and returned invisibly to the box," dipping
my hand into the box and bringing up a handful of
the confetti. "Isn't it wonderful?"
This completes the handkerchief work, and I now
gather up all the silks and place them into the ma-
hogany box; the glass and paper cylinder are dropped
into the confetti box, and both boxes placed to one
side. I then pick up from the chair a large bag of
black broadcloth, which is provided with a network
opening in one corner. I come forward turning this
178 The Magic Art
bag inside out and back again, beating it against my
knee, and otherwise handling it in a manner to pre-
clude any possibility of the bag having anything con-
cealed within it.
"We read of some funny things in the newspapers
these days. There is the professor who tried to de-
velop a breed of chickens that would lay square eggs
for convenience in shipping. Of course he failed in
the undertaking, and I believe they have sent him to
some institution to round off the corners. Now, if
he had just resorted to conjuring, he might have suc-
ceeded a little better. At any rate, I, myself, have
succeeded in producing eggs Without chickens, but
they are the regulation style, minus the corners, and
I have so far kept out of an institution. I make the
latter statement just for the sake of setting your
minds at ease.
"Now I get my supply from this plain black bag.
You can see for yourselves that it is perfectly empty,
but to satisfy the skeptics I'll turn it inside out again,
and back. Nothing could be more simple. A lot of
people have bothered their heads over this process of
egg making, and have advanced some strange theories
as to how it's done; but let me tell you they are all
wrong. Why, one man went so far as to claim that
I had a hen up my sleeve, and this hen laid the eggs
that I produced from the bag. Just to disprove such
senseless theories, I will turn my cuffs back to the
-The bag is held between my teeth while I roll
up my sleeves, and the hands are then shown empty.
Once more the bag is turned inside out and back again,
The Magic Art 179
very slowly, when it is seized between the thumbs and
forefingers at. opposite sides of the opening,
"Notice the , simplicity of the process. First I
show you the outside of the bag. Then I show you the ,
inside, and back again,. Please observe, by the way,
that I am perfectly empty-handed. Watch! I just
shake the bag a little, and that makes all the differ-
ence. See, there's an egg in the corner."
The egg is seen in the network corner of the bag,
and is removed and placed on the table.
"Watch the corner of the bag. See, there's an-
other. Quite an eggstraordinary eggsperiment, you
must admit. I'll turn the ba^ inside out again. Noth-
ing there; — in other words, it's perfectly empty; but
wait a moment. You observe that the supply, is in-
Five or six eggs are thus produced from the bag.
Finally, I walk forward with the bag, and again turn
it inside out, remarking, "Perhaps you would like to
s~ee the source of this mysterious egg supply. Well, I
am going to let you in on this one. I told you in. the
beginning that I did not have a hen up my sleeve. I
didn't, and that's a fact-.' I really don't use a hen at
Here I reach into the bag and extract an immense
egg plant, "It was in the bag all the time."
I now place the bag, the egg plant and the plate
of eggs to one side, and arrange the properties for the
next trick. These consist of a clear glass decanter,
partly filled with water, a nickeled skeleton card
houlette which fits into the neck of the decanter by
means of a cork, a pack of cards, and a tray of wine
glasses. All these articles have been on my table'
180 The Magic Art
throughout the entertainment, with the exception of
the tray of glasses, which has been placed in readiness
on a table or chair near the back of the room or plat-
form, and which I now bring forward and place on the
chair near my conjuring table.
"The experiment which I am about to show you,
ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most beautiful, as
well as the most marvelous, in magic. It is strictly
scientific in nature, and I shall ask you to consider it
as such, and give it your very closest attention."
Advancing to the audience with the pack of cards,
"I am going to ask several ladies and gentlemen
to assist me by selecting cards from this pack. Will
you take a card, please? — Note your card carefully,
so that you will be sure to know it later, on. And
you, sir, kindly take a card; do not let me influence
your choice. Thank you. And now one more, please.
Three cards are selected by as many different
"Now I am going to ask you to hold up your cards
so that everyone may see them. I will turn my back,
as I wish to be the only one in the room Who does not
know the chosen cards. That will do, thank you.
Please take down your cards. I will appoint this gen-
tleman to take the pack and collect the selected cards
therein, after which I would like him to shuffle the
pack thoroughly. If any other person desires to
shuffle the cards, permit him to do so. Thank you."
While the cards are being collected and shuffled,
I return to the table for the card houlette. "Next I
wish to call your attention to this little nickeled case,
The Magic Art 181
or frame, which I use in this experiment as a card
holder. It is free from deception, but you may ex-
amine -it if you wish."
I finally return to my table with the pack of
cards and the houlette. The former are laid on the
table, while I fit the houlette on the decanter, remark-
ing, "I hate to bother you with these preliminary ar-
langenients, but they are really quite essential to the
experiment. You will notice that I place this card
holder on top of the decanter, for I want you to be able
to see the cards clearly." I insert the pack of cards
in the houlette.
"Now before I proceed to give you a remarkable
demonstration of my control over any particular card,
I should like to remark that the majority of people
do not sufficiently understand that the capacities of
man are capable of an almost infinite extension in a
higher direction. I do not state this fact for the put-
pose of arousing astonishment, but merely to test your
capacity for accepting possibilities which have not
hitherto come within the range of your experience.
For instance, the mere act of concentrating one's whole
strength of will upon a particular determination — as,
for instance, the materialization of a spirit being, —
is to command that astral or invisible form to mani-
fest its presence within the circle of influence.
"Hitherto, such manifestation has served no use-
ful purpose; but continual scientific progress has en-
larged the ordinary sphere of man's psychological
grasp to such an extent "that he is now able to harness
spirit force, and compel it to give practical demonstra-
tion of its latent energy.
"You are well aware that we have three selected
182 The Magic Aet
cards, mixed with others, and secure from personal
contact, tangible influence, or any known natural force
by complete isolation in this little frame. Now by a
severe mental effort I desire the spirit of the great
Cagliostro to manifest itself. I command the astral
form of the spirit I have named to materialize in the
decanter. Watch closely and you will see that the
atmospheric pressure in the decanter is disturbed by
the pressure of the life waves that tend to displace the
point of grayity, and thereby force the card of which
I am thinking to rise from the pack." A card rises.
"Perhaps the lady will be good enough to state
aloud, for the benefit of the company, if this is her
card. Thank you.
"And now for the second card. I believe this gen-
tleman selected the second card. For the benefit of
those who failed to grasp the trend of my previous
remarks, I will repeat them backward. Better still,
I will do it silently, so that you may not think the
card rises to stop me talking." (Card rises.) "There,
you see, the spirit moves it.
"And now for the last card. I do this ttick for
the third and last time in order that you may form
your own idea how it is done. Some people think it
is done one way, some another, but I can assure you
neither way is correct — it is done in a different man-
ner altogether. In' fact, while I have been talking
the spirit of the great Cagliostro has turned the^;rick."
(Third card rises). ■ ' •
1 carry the three Selected cards, the decanter and
Ihe h6ulette still conljaiping' the pack, intb the ' audi-
ence for close examination. " Then, as I return these
The Magic Art 183
articles to my table, I remove the houlette fi'om the
neck of the decanter, and continue:
"A gentleman advanced a rather startling solu-
tion of this problem the other evening. I believe his
theory was something to the effect that the water in
the decanter had something to do with the behavior
of the cards, even going so far as to advance the argu-
ment that I used alcohol whose fumes might act upon
the cards. What a clever fellow! I admit the prob-
lem .to be spiritualistic, but my spirits are of a differ-
ent sort than those found in bottles."
While I am speaking I transfer the tray of glasses
from the chair to thie table, and take my position be-
hind the latter, with the decanter placed behind the
row of glasses on the tray.
"However, while we are on the subject of spirits,
liquid or otherwise, I may as well show you my own
particular formula for brewing 'the essence of joy.'
I don't want my method generally known, of course,
and I am revealing it only in the strictest confidence.
(I notice a good many members of the Home Brew
League present this evening, — don't leave, Mr. Bryan,
we'll get to the grape juice a little later.) When the
dry season hit this country a few months ago, it was
truly astonishing how the men suddenly took an inter-
est in domestic affairs. Most of them could be found
at home — in the basement — any evening in the weekj
and in their usual unselfish way they ' shared their
Joys with the wife — even to letting her w'asli the
bottles. -, .
"I understand a good many methods have salready
been worked out. In fact, if you'll eavesdrop around
any two^or more men these days, you'll hear as many
184 The Magic Art
methods as there are Home Brewers in the bunch.
Some advocate the raisin, others the prune, and I've
even heard of a Mexican bean that raises all sorts of
Ned in a home brew.
"For my own part, I belong to the raisin cult.
I was raised-on raisins. That may be the cause of
it; but I flatter myself that I've discovered just about
the best method of them all. . Of course, my fellow
home-brewers will declare they all say that, but I am
going to prove my assertion right here and now. No
nineteen days in my brew — no malt — ^no prunes— no
Mexican bean. Just a small quantity of plain, every-
day water, and a few gentle, brunette raisins. Isn't
"I keep my raisins in a glass box, for the little
creatures love plenty of sunshine. They are Cali-
fornia raisins ; I suppose that accounts for it.
"Now for the secret process. First, take a bot-
tle and fill it with plain water, just as we have it
here. If any of you gentlemen doubt the contents of
my decanter, I shall be glad to have you sample it."
I fill one of the glasses with water, and replace it
upion the tray. "Now I will show you what one poor
little innocent raisin can do when he is thrust into
the world upon his own resources."
I open the glass box and remove a raisin, which
I drop into the second, empty glass on tray.
"Observe ! I merely add a little Water, and —
thfere you are! Real sparkling wine! The essence
of joy! The concoction of merriment! The perfume
of f orgetf ulness ! Can you beat it?" The water has
turned to red wine.
"Now you might think I had tampered with the
The Magic Art 185
water, but you can see for yourselves that, without
the aid of his Majesty, the Raisin, nothing comes of
it." I pour water into Glass No. 3.
"I shall repeat the process with Glass No. 4, just
to prove to you that the thing is all I claim for it. This
time I shall select a raisin with light blue eyes, but
otherwise brunette." The raisin is dropped into
Glass No. 4. "Then I add the water, and the result
is apparent to all. You don't have to use a raisin to
each glass of water--— just mix the contents of the two,
and you have one for the wife, or someone else's wife."
The fluid in Nos. 1 and 2 are mixed together, result-
ing in wine in both glasses.
"I was demonstrating my private process before
the Desert Reclamation League the other evening, and
had just reached the present stage when there came
an energetic knocking at the door. Someone whis-
pered 'Federal agents,' and there was quite a bit of
excitement for the moment, for the wine was very
much in evidence. There wasn't the slightest need of
anxiety, however, for, just as the agents came in, I
calmly returned the contents of all four glasses to the
decanter," suiting the action to the words, "and — ^you
can see the result for yourselves — nothing but water!
"The explanation is absurdly simple — ^too many
cdoks spoil the broth ; or, more properly speaking, too
many raisins spoil the brew. It seems they are jeal-
ous little creatures, and refuse to work unless they
are left entirely alone. Well, these Federal agents
took a look around, found nothing but water, and
with due apologies, made their departure. No
sooner had the door closed upon them than I dropped
an energetic raisin into each glass but one — (one fel-
The Magic Art
The Magic Art - 187
low wanted water— he belonged to the prune delega-
tion, I believe), and served wine to all but the prune
advocate." I fill three of the glasses ^vith wine and
the fourth with water.
"I hope all of you have followed my demonstra-
tion closely. You can't go wrong on the process ; but,
whatever you do, don't give it away, for I value it
I now close the act with an old conjuring classic,
namely, the Sliding Die Box, and some points in the
mode of presentation here given will no doubt be hew
to the reader.
The die box, with its accompanying nickeled
"chimney" cover, have reposed up to this time on the
chair, and when I have finished with the wine and
water experiment, I place the tray of glassware to
one side, and transfer the die box and chimney to the
table. ^Nothing remains on the chair -but a folded
newspaper. Opening the die box, and lifting out the
solid die, I advance to the audience with the die and
"That little c^ddy on the table was bequeathed
to me, along with several other antique objects, by
my grandmother. I did not attach much importance
to the legacy until I discovered that the caddy pos-
sessed some very reiharkable qualities of a magical
nature. This large die was in the box, and as it
could not possibly have belonged to my grandmother,
I have a sneiaking suspicion that it belonged to grand
dad, who-jinay have been something of a crap-shdoter
in his day^ Hbwever, that ha:sn't anything to do with
the problem which I am about to propound. The
first operation is to" instill into your minds the fact
188 The Magic Art
that the die is nothing more or less than a solid cube
of wood," tapping it on a small boy's head, "and this
, square cornered tube serves as a cover for the die
when it wishes privacy. Take them into your own
hands, please, and satisfy yourselves that everything
is just as I represent it. I wouldn't deceive you for
While the die and cover are being inspected, I
borrow a derby hat, in which I now receive the die,
while my free hand takes the chimney cover. Return-
ing to the stage, I place the hat, still containing the
die, upon the chair, at the same time removing the
newspaper, which I now spread upon the table and
place the chimney upon it.
J continue, "I forgot to show you that the caddy
is empty since I removed the die from it," opening the
two doors and closing same, and replacing the caddy
upon the table. "People are always so suspicious of
a conjurer's movements! Now, watch. Where did
we place the die? Oh, yes, in the hat!" I walk over
to the hat and lift it from the chair, at the same time
reaching into it with the opposite hand and lifting out
the die. The hat is replaced on the chair, and the die
carried to the table and covered -with the chimney.
"There are just three ways in which you can
catch the professor in this experiment, and I flatter
myself that I am quick enough to deceive you even
with telling you of my weak points. All you have to
do is to keep one eye on this tube where the die now
reposes," hfting the chimney and revealing the die
thereunder, again" covering same ; "one eye on the tea
caddy, which, as I showed you a moment ago, is quite
empty," again opening the two front doors of the
The Magic Art 189
caddy and showing its empty interior; "and the other
eye on the gentleman's hat, over there on the chair.
If you will just remember to do this, you'll have no
difficulty Whatever in learning how the thing is
The die is now commanded to pass from the cover
into the tea caddy. I immediately lift the chimney
and show it empty — even passing my hand through
the tube, — ^the solid die has gone. I then pick up
the die box and open the two front doors. The miss-
ing die is visible in one of the compartments, and I
lift it from the box, show it, and then replace it in
The next stage of the problem is to again demater-
ialize the die and cause it to pass from the caddy into
the hat. The magic word is spoken, and the top and
front doors of one compartment of the box are thrown
open, showing that end empty. These doors are
closed, the box tilted, and the other top and front doors
opened, revealing the second compartment likewise
empty. This operation is repeated several times, until
the audience, fully aware of an audible sliding sound
that emanates from the box each time the latter is
tilted, insist that the die is still in the box. Once more
the box is tilted, and this .time I run my fingers into
the compartment that is now uppermost, showing
box all around with the two doors of this compartment
wide open. This brings the house to screams of laugh-
ter, and loud exclamations of "Oh, we see it — it's in
the other side!" for the die is apparently seen in the
lower, closed compartment.
I therefore close the two upper doors, and the
die now vanishes from the box with a click, and all
190 The Magic Art
four doors are opened and the box shown perfectly
empty. Going over to the hat, the solid die is tipped
out oil the chair.
I shall' first list the properties employed in the
act, and follow with their arrangement and presen-
A Japanese Handkerchief Box.
Three red silk handkerchiefs.
Ten I or twelve silk handkerchiefs of different
bright colors,, tied in a long string,
A small pitcher of milk.
A trick glass having a funnel-shaped tube blown
up from the bottom, said tube being open at ; both
ends. Being of glass, this tube is never noticed in
A , Handkerchief Pedestal, which ejects a silk
handkerchief out of the upper end of the shaft when a
piston is raised.
Two lemonade tumblers of like appearance, one
bottomless, . the other unprepared.
A confetti "feke" fitting into the bottomless
A double handkerchief containing a ring of the
diameter of the tumblers.
A plain paper cylinder, about eight inches long,
which passes freely over the lemonade tumblers.
'A sheet of plain paper, 8x10 inches.
A handkerchief wand with removable plug and
hook in one end.
Two blue silk handkerchiefs of like size. One
is provided with a little -patch of silk holding a leaden
disc in its center.
The Magic Art 191
A "tall" cigar box, partly filled with vari-col-
ored confetti. This box is of sufficient dimensions
to conceal one of the lemonade tumblers behind it, but
not as tall as the paper cylinder.
A large black bag, provided with a network cor-
ner, commonly called the "Producing Egg Bag."
Five or six celluloid eggs.
An egg plant with a black bag of suitable size to
hold the vegetable.
A "squat" decanter, partly filled with water.
A skeleton card houlette, provided with a cork
under its base, which fits into the neck of the decanter.
A packet of threaded cards, three of which ' are
arranged to rise as in the orthodox rising cards trick.
An unprepared pack of cards, minus the above
A forcing pack of cards, three kinds only.
A tray of glasses and a small glass box of raisins.
A Sliding Die Box, containing the usual four-sided
shell die in the one compartment; while a loose flap,
representing upon one of its sides the "four" spot side
of a die, reposes, spot side down, in the other com-
A nickeled "chimney" tube containing a hinged
A solid die.
Two conjuring tables and a chair are used. I
use a black sateen slip to cover the seat and back of
the chair, rendering the latter portion of the chair
opaque for concealing the egg plant load.
My center table is the Acme type, with a 16x22-
192 The Magic Art
inch top, and provided with a bag servante. The side
stand is one of the famiUar Kellar types, carrying a
13-inch square top without drapery.
In setting up the act, the two tables are first as-
sembled, of course, and the slip cover tied on the chair.
The Kellar stand is on my left as I face the front, and
a little forward of the other table, while the chair is
rather clos^ to the latter and about even with it.
One of the red silk handkerchiefs is inserted into
the flap of the Jap box; another into the shaft of the
handkerchief pedestal; while the third is crumpled
up and inserted into the "top of the pocket" of my
trousers on the right side.
The string of colored silks is formed into a com-
pact parcel, the outermost silk in the string being red
(to match the others of this shade) , which is used as
a covering for the parcel, which is vested on my left
The handkerchief pedestal is placed on the right
hand end of the center table, with the Jap box, rest-
ing upon its .side so that an onlooker can see right
through it, placed on top of the pedestal. The bot-
tom of the box is off and resting through the box to
keep the secret flap (which is lowermost) closed.
The plate rests just behind the pedestal, with the
handkerchief wand, duly "loaded" with the unpre-
pared blue silk attached to the hook on the plug, be-
side it. The 8x10 sheet of paper is here. also.
On the left end of the center table stands the con-
fetti box, with the bottomless lemonade glass, con-
taining the confetti feke, hidden behind the box. The
blue handkerchief that carries the leaden weight is
also by the cigar box; while in view in front of the
The Magic Art 193
box stand the unprepared lemonade glass and the
The water decanter, card houlette, forcing pack,
pitcher of milk and "funnel" glass are in view on the
Kellar stand. The packet of threaded cards rests
just behind the decanter, with the slack of the thread
hanging down in back, and the end of this thread is
attached to the base of the stand.
The unprepared pack of cards is placed in my
lower vest pocket on the left hand side.
The bag containing the egg plant is suspended '
from a headless nail driven into the chair back; and
the double handkerchief is thrown over the latter.
On the seat of this chair are arranged, first, the
newspaper, which is folded in four, and "leaned"
against the chair back. The hinged shell die is con-
cealed behind this newspaper. In front of the news-
paper are placed the sliding die box, the solid die,
the chimney cover, and the producing egg bag, the
latter being duly loaded with the five celluloid eggs.
Rather back from my tables I place any small
table or chair to serve the purpose of an "off stage."
The tray of glasses and box of raisins rest here until
wanted, and the various properties are carried back
to this table when they have served their purpose.
The glasses on the tray are, of course, duly pre-
pared for the wine and water experiment, according
to your own favorite formula, as well ^s the water
contained in the decanter.
The act is now ready for presentation, most parts
of which will be fully comprehended by a careful
study of the effect given in the beginning. When I
step before my audience, I pull the bottom of the Jap
The Magic Art
box out of the box proper with my left hand, and lift
the box witft my right, the thumb keeping the flap
safely closed. During the tellirig of the story of the
Egyptian princess, I continually turn the box about
so that my auditors can clearly look right through it.
When 1 say, "You willrecall that Aladdin rubbed his
"VVonderful Lamp, and the genii appeared-^ — *' I have
The Magic Art 195
replaced the box on its bottom, and now rub the front
of the box with my right fingers; then, "just as this
little piece of rare old Egyptian silk appears here
now." I reach over th& front edge of the box, and
slowly, very slowly, draw the red silk over the edge
After the ladies have marvelled at the wonderful
state of preservation of the little piece of silk, I pull
out my right hand trousers' pocket, showing same per-
fectly empty, as this operation does not disturb the
duplicate silk reposing in the top corner of this
pocket ; but in pushing the pocket back into place the
thumb goes into the top corner and drags the silk down
to the bottom of the pocket.
The visible red silk is now pushed into the box,
vanishes, and is reproduced from the pocket. It is
then returned to the pocket — really bunched up a lit-
tle and pushed again into the top corner of pocket
with the thumb, while the fingers go to the bottom
as if actually pushing the silk well down there. The
silk now passes invisibly from the pocket back to the
Leaving the silk hanging over the front edge of
the box, I now step to the side stand and fill the
"funnel" glass with milk from the pitcher, taking
care to bring the milk not quite level with the upper
opening of the "funnel" in the glass. The glass of
milk is then isolated upon the pedestal, and the latter
transferred to the side stand, during which opera-
tion the piston is pushed upward, propelling the hid-
den silk into the funnel of the glass of milk..
Again picking up the Jap box, the red silk is
placed therein and vanished. Retaining the box in
196 The Magic Aet
my left hand, wjhich is held against the front of my
body, I approach the pedestal with iriy left side to-
ward the audience. Showing my right hand empty,
back and front, I insert my fingers, apparently, into
the milk in the glass, drawing out the missing red
silk, perfectly dry.
Now in holding the box my thumb is through the
hole in the bottom to keep the flap closed, and the
fingers are resting against the front of the box, and
this side is against the body. While all eyes are
watching the silk as it is drawn out of the milk, the
left hand fingers steal the parcel of silks from the
vest, and hold same against the outside of the box.
The red silk just drawn from this bpx is now placed
ove7- the parcel of silks in left hand, effectually con-
cealing the load, while the right hand, still diverting
attention, lifts the glass of milk from the pedestal and
places it down on the table. The left hand is now
brought around with the box and (apparently) the
red silk resting on the finger tips. The right hand
takes the silk (together with the parcel it conceals),
and carelessly drops it into the box.
After a moment's pause, I again reach into the
box and apparently begin the deliberate removal of
the red silk, but this particular red silk is the outer-
most handkerchief of the string, and the brightly
colored silks are slowly produced from the box, form-
ing a very brilliant display.
The above production of a great quantity of silk
from the Jap box is practically indetectable, especially
if the outermost silk of the load is the same color as
the silk used in the various experiments with the
box. The author has puzzled many magicians with
The Magic Art 197
this production, their first guess invariably being that
the Jap box must be some new type with greater silk
capacity than commonly employed.
I now gather up the string of silks, and push
them into the Jap box, and about the same time I
pick up the blue silk (with, leaden weight) that rests
near the back of the table, and place it at the front of
the table. Later on, if given any thought at all, the
a:verage spectator believes this silk was one of those
produced from the box.
The "Mystic Handkerchief and Tumbler of Con-
fetti" is the next item on the programme, and a fiill
description of its presentation will be found in Chap-
This is followed by the producing egg bag, for the
presentation of which the chair is pushed right up to
the center table, so that when I stand with the chair
on my left, the plate on the table is a slight straining
point. The egg bag is picked up from the chair, and
the five eggs duly "produced." Now when I produce
the last egg, and reach over the chair to place it on
the plate on table, my left hand, with the bag, is rested
in a perfectly natural position on the top of the chair
back. While in such position, the fingers of this
hand seize the bag containing the egg plant, and when
I now step away from the chair the load is brought
along behind the egg bag. I again proceed to turn
the egg bag inside out, and by this operation the egg
plant is brought into the bag, from which it is now
produced, with more or less effort on my part to dis-
lodge it. I am by no means the first to use the egg
plant as a finale for the egg producing bag. It makes
a decidedly novel, if not appropriate, finish for this
198 The Magic Art
particular trick, and is useful where the performer
does not find it convenient to produce a rooster, or
other live stock.
The rising cards on the decanter is the next item
offered. 'The method employed will be recognized as
the orthodox, but the particular version is very bril-
liant and satisfactory. When the three cards are se-
lected from the (forcing) pack, and I turn my back
for a moment so that all the spectators may see the
drawn cards, I quickly drop the forcing pack into the
large pocket under my coat, and pull the unprepared
pack out of my pocket, so that the drawn cards are,
of course, returned to an unprepared pack, and may
therefore be safely shuffled by a spectator. This
pack is placed down on the threaded packet of cards
on the side stand, as of old, while the decanter of
water and card houlette are introduced to the public
eye. When 1 insert the houlette into the decanter, ana
slip the cards therein, it is not a difficult operation
to push the slack of the thread off the edge of the
table, so that when I lift the decanter and houlette
together from the stand, the thread comes away to
the front perfectly free. I take a few steps forward,
holding the neck of the decanter in my right hand,
with my left side to the audience, and the slack of the
thread now taken up. Now, in order to cause the
cards to rise, it is only necessary to swing the de-
canter forward with a slight, imperceptible movement,
which draws the thread taut and therefore raises the
With the center table cleared, the tray of glasses
is now placed upon it, and the wine and water experi-
ment presented. I always use an attractive-looking
The Magic Art 199
set of wine glasses for this trick, for the fluids are
seen to so much better advantage in this style of
glass than if the plain water tumblers are employed.
The sliding die box is the closing item on the
programme, and as most conjurers have their own
particular method of presentation for this old-time
trick, I shall confine my explanation to several
"wrinkles" introduced in the presentation which may
be new to some of my readers.
It will be remembered that all the props for the
trick are in readiness upon the chair, the shell die
with hinged lid being concealed behind the folded
newspaper. I begin operations by picking up the
caddy and, tipping it over, open the two doors that per-
mit of showing the interior empty. I then place the
box on the center table.
I now pick up the solid die and the chimney cover,
which are brought forward for examination. I ask
the loan of a stiff hat, and as both my hands are oc-
cupied, I drop the die in the hat in order to receive
the latter, and return with these articles to the chair.
The hat is rested, crown downward, and still contain-
ing the solid die, on the chair seat. My left hand
performs this latter operation, the nickeled chimnej'
being in my right, and just as the hat is pushed well
back on the chair, the fingers of the right hand clip
the folded newspaper and the left hand takes the news-
paper from the right as I now step over io the table.
This leaves the shell die effectually concealed behind
the hat on the chair. My left hand opens the newspa-
per with a shake, and spreads it upon the table, and
my right then places the chimney tube upon the pa-
per. All of these movements are perfectly natural.
200 The Magic Art
and the ultimate effect created is, that nothing but.
the solid die is employed.
I now return to the chair, and apparently lift the
solid die out of the hat with my right hand, while the
left picks up the hat. As a matter of fact, the left
hand lifts the hat as the right goes down behind it
and lifts the shell die; the hat is tilted a little away
from the audience, and the right apparently removes
the solid die from same, really bringing up to view
the shell die, and leaving the solid one in the hat.
The latter is isolated on the side stand, being placed
crown down as before, and I carry the (shell) die to
the center table, and cover it with the chimney. Again
the box is shown empty, and the chimney is also lifted
once more to prove the presence of the (shell) die
thereunder. The magic word is spoken; the chimney
lifted with a little pressure of the fingers to retain the
shell therein, the die having apparently vanished, its
absence being further emphasized by pushing the hand
through the tube. The die is now revealed in the
box; is taken out and shown, and then replaced.
Now in working the "sucker" feature of the trick,
I introduce one of the cleverest die box wrinkles I have
ever met with. It is an arrangement of my good
friend, Mr. George C. Staples, a decidedly talented
and artistic magical entertainer.
The Staples' die box wrinkle involves the use of
the little flap already mentioned, which represents on
one side the four spot side of a die, while the other
side is finished plain black, to match the interior of
the die box. This little loose flap rests, in the be^inr
ning, "spot" side downward in the one compartment
The Magic Art 201
of the box, the other compartment being occupied by
the four-sid3d shell die, as usual.
When the entertainer succeeds in working his
auditors up to the proper pitch, by leading them to be-
lieve that the supposed die in the box is really sliding
from one end of the box to the other, he finally tilts
the box right on end, the compartment holding the
shell die being lowermost. This operation causes the
little die flap to turn over and rest on the partition
in the box, the spots on the flap thus being uppermo.st.
The entertainer now opens these two upper doors, and
if the box is held in the proper position, the specta-
tors will think they see one side of the solid die in
the lower, closed compartment of the box, and will
voice their opinion accordingly. In due time the box
is again tilted back, causing the flap to again turn
dowii on the bottom of the box, becoming invisible ; all
four doors are then opened, and the die has completely
disappeared, subsequently being tipped out of the bor-
I am indebted to several writers for some of the
lines of patter included in the foregoing pages: to
Messrs. Hatton and Plate for certain phrases in the
handkerchief effects; to Selbit for the "scientific"
patter used, with modifications, in the rising cards..
When I consider the constantly growing demand for
good patter, in the light of all the good "lines" now
in print in current magical literature, all of which
may easily be adapted to suit the individual's own
style or trick, I wonder at this cry for "more patter."
I have said that if an act of a half hour's duration
is cleverly arranged it can be cut to suit any occasion.
202 The Magic Art
from a ten or fifteen minute turn, up to the full half
hour, Without breaking the original sequence. The
■foregoing act has served my o~wn purpose well in this
For instance, the series of effects with the Jap
handkerchief box arid tumbler of confetti, constitute a
good ten or twelve minute turn. Or, for the sake of
diversion, I have some times followed the Jap box
series with the producing egg bag trick, omitting the
handkerchief and tumbler of confetti.
Again, in the case of a fifteen minute act, the
Jap box series, producing egg bag, and the rising cards
on the decanter, will be found an effective trio.
In other words, the magical entertainer who mas-
ters a thirty or forty minute act of the foregoing de-
scription — who not only masters the skillful perform-
ance of the various effects entering into it, but like-
wise has the accompaniment ol patter at the tip of
his tongue — such entertainer will experience no dif-
ficulty in re-arranging the particular sequence of the
act to suit almost any occasion, without the slightest
So far, I have considered only the cutting of the
act to one of shorter duration. In the case of, say,
an hour's entertainment the same careful considera-
tion in the selection of additional tricks must be given,
and probably the addition of another side stand to
provide for their exhibition.
Again, in the further consideration of this act,
the versatile entertainer will frequently be called upon
to present his programme under certain conditions,
or before a certain audience, where spectacular effects,
rather than those presented more on the order of
The Magic Art 203
scientific problems, will be best appreciated. In this
case the entertainer must be prepared not only to alter
the order and make up of his act, but certain modifica-
tions in his patter must be provided for.
For instance, such a performance may consist
of the Jap box series (without the handkerchief and
confetti trick), followed by the producing egg bag;
the rising cards on the dectanter (presented with less
"scientific" patter) , and, omitting the wine and water
experiment, follow the rising cards with the sliding
die box. The performance is then brought to a spec-
tacular finish with the Wang Foo production bowl,
the confetti which it apparently contains being trans-
formed, first, into a tray of fruit, followed by many
colored silks, then an American flag, and, finally, vast
quantities of flowers. This gorgeous' display is
brought to a finale when the performer throws the
American flag over a large candle and candlestick,
immediately removing same and revealing the candle
transformed into a tableau of the flags of the Allies
(see Figs. 24 and 25).
A Suit-Case Act
Conjurers who confine their efforts to the so-
called "suit-case act" will obtain the maximum of ef-
fect with the minimum of apparatus in the present
arrangement. The sequence is perfect, and the entire
act is easily made ready, and therefore good at any
time or place. Presented with the proper dash and
patter, it is all that one could wish in an act of this
description. Of course, it is subject to considerable
variation, so that the performer who wishes to intro-
duce some of his own particular effects should have
204 The Magic Art
little difficulty in altering the arrangement to suit his
When everything is made ready, the performer
has a small conjuring stand on his left and a chair
on his right. A small, heat suit-case, with the lid
tilted back, rests upon the chair.
The entertainer makes his entrance, puffing a
cigarette. After his opening remarks, he pushes the
cigarette into his closed left hand; strikes the fist a
sharp blow — ^and the cigarette has vanished! Now
he draws back his sleeves — ^turns them right back to
the elbow, and showing both hands empty, he rubs
the palms together and evolves first a blue silk hand-
kerchief, followed by a white one. Drawing these
two magical silks over his forearm, the spectators are
invited to select one of the colors, say blue; and this
silk upon being pushed through the closed left hand,
changes to a red color. The audience laughs, think-
ing the blue handkerchief remains in the closed left
hand, whereupon the entertainer slowly opens this
hand, revealing it empty.
Now the performer turns the side pockets of his
trousers inside out, to demonstrate their emptiness.
The silk — now red — is pushed into the right hand
pocket, from which it vanishes, passing invisibly into
the left hand pocket.
The red silk is now transformed into a red bil-
liard ball, with which sundry clever passes are exe-
cuted. Suddenly the ball multiplies to two solid balls
in the one hand; then to three, and finally to four.
The balls are then dematerialized In a manner as mys-
terious as their production.
The entertainer next introduces, from his magic
The Magic Art 205
suit-case, a small broadcloth bag, for the demonstra-
tion of which he invites two boys upon the stage. He
turns the bag inside out, beats it upon the table, etc.,
as a proof of its emptiness. An egg is then caused to
disappear, and is found in the previously empty bag.
The performer then offers to show his volunteer as-
sistants "how the trick is done," but his explanation
only puzzles them all the more. The bag is finally
carried into the audience, and proven to be empty once
more. A spectator is requested to hold the bag, and
the conjurer then draws back his sleeves, and show-
ing his hands empty, reaches into the bag and brings
out the missing egg.
When the entertainer finishes the trick with the
egg and the bag, he comes forward, wand in hand, and
asks the loan of a hat. Moving about the stage, he
seemingly plucks from the air half-dollars innumer-
able, which he tosses into the hat, until he has accum-
ulated some fifteen or twenty. Occasionally he varies
the operation of depositing the coin in the hat, push-
ing it through the crown of the latter; or, again, he
tosses the coin high in the air, and catches it in the
hat. Finally the coins are emptied onto a plate as
a proof of their genuineness.
A card trick is next offered by way of diversion.
The money catching and this card trick really open
the way, later on, to a hat production. The actual
working of this card trick is absurdly simple, but the
effect appears marvelous.
When the performer begins this experiment with
cards, he takes a pack from the table and gives it a
thorough shuffle. Meanwhile, his patter runs some-
thing to the following effect. Most of this patter is
206 The Magic Art
adapted from Prof. Hoffmann's "Latest Magic," and
the reader is reminded that he can get many other
good tips on patter from this book.
"I am about to show you a curious effect with
this pack of playing cards — an experiment, in fact,
in magnetism, but magnetism of a new kind. The old
sort of magnetism was a comparatively poor affair;
it would only work on iron or steel. Anything else
it wouldn't attract worth a cent. Now my sort of
magnetism is a very superior article. It will attract
all soits of things. So far I have been chiefly experi-
menting with playing cards, and I will show you how
the thing works."
Having completed his shuffle, he now brings for-
ward the cards and invites three ladies or gentlemen
to each take one card. They are reminded to take
free choice, after which the three drawn cards are
returned to the pack, and the latter again shuffled. A
gentleman is invited to hold the previously borrowed
hat for the entertainer. The shuffled pack is dropped
into the hat, and shaken up a bit for full measure.
The volunteer assistant is required to hold the hat
"Now I use my wand as a magnet. It is really
a very pow'erful magnet, and I will make it still more
vigorous by rubbing it on my left coat sleeve. Do
you know why oh my left? Do you all give it up?
Because in this case the left happens to be right.
Simple when you know it, isn't it? Well, as I was
saying, I use my wand as a magnet, and I shall ask my
assistant to hold the magnet for me in this manner."
He places the wand in the gentleman's right hand —
the hat, containing the cards, is in his left, held high.
The Magic Art 207
"Now permit me to impress upon you just what
has taken place. Three cards have been selected from
the pack, returned, and thoroughly shuffled, and the
pack shaken up in the hat. Under the circumstances,
it is obviously impossible for me to know the precise
location of any particular card in that pack; still,
by the aid of this new magnetism^ I expect- to perform
a very difficult 'task with ease. May I ask this lady
the name of her card? The Queen of Diamonds?
Thank you. The Queen of Diamonds, being a red
card, I merely touch this end of the wand lightly with
my finger tips ; reach quickly into the hat before the
magnetic influence has time to evaporate, and— here
is the Queen of Diamonds!"
In like manner the remaining chosen cards are
picked from the pack in the hat. Sometimes the
spectator refuses to name his card before the per-
former produces it. This really heightens the effect,
and the result is all the same.
When the trick of the cards from the hat is fin-
ished, the conjurer recalls that the gentleman's hat
has not been returned,- and, picking it up, holds it in
both hands agaihst his body, with the opening of
the hat toward the audience. It is perfectly clear to
everybody that the hat is empty. He remarks, "By
the way, who loaned me this hat?" He steps forward
as if to pass it down, when, as of old, he "discovers"
something in the hat, which proves to be a silk hand-
kerchief. Slowly, very slowly, he removes, one after
the other, three or four colored silks from the hat,
finally getting back to the chair, in order to place the
silks over its back. Again the opening of the hat is
turned toward the audience, showting it empty, still
208 The Magic Art
a half dozen more silks are drawn therefrom. These
are followed by many yards of very wide, tri-colored
ribbon, which makes a gorgeous display; next, half a
dozen pretty little satchels, which are stacked pyra-
mid-fashion upon the table ; then an immense quantity
of bright-colored flowers are shaken from the hat.
The performer again shows the interior of the
hat to be quite empty, and walks iforward as if to
return it to the owner, when again the mysterious
headgear is found to be filled to the brim, as before.
This time the hat yields up a dozen or more of the
flags of all nations, ending with the production of
Old Glory, of course, of suitable dimensions.
The accessories and arrangement involved in the
One blue, one wfhite, and two red silk handker-
Ball feke for color changing handkerchief.
Hollow billiard ball.
Three solid billiard balls and a half-shell.
Holmes' ball tube pocket.
A soup plate.
An egg bag of the type described by Christopher
in Chapter 3.
Three blown eggs.
A Demon Handkerchief for vanishing an egg.
About twenty palming coins.
Holmes' Master Self-Shifting Pack.
Holmes' Pevil of a Hat.
A dozen or more colored silk handkerchiefs.
A bolt of tri-colored ribbon.
The Magic Art 209
Six hat satchels.
A hundred spring flowers.
A dozen or more 8x12 inch silk flags of different
A 24x36 inch silk American flag.
Everything is nicely accommodated in the suit-
case, even to the conjuring stand. The latter, for
preference, is of the Acme type, as shown in Fig 25.
The top is provided with a drape, and a portable shelf
servante at back.
In setting up the act, the table is assembled, and
the wand, the pack of cards, the plate and the stack
of palming coins placed thereon. The coins are hid-
den behind the plate.
The suit-case is placed on the chair, with the lid
tilted open. The Demon Handkerchief and the egg
bag (containing an egg) are left in the case, and the
latter is ready to receive the various accessories as
they are dispensed with during the act. The two re-
maining blown eggs may rest on the soup plate, on
the table, until needed.
The bolt of tri-colored ribbon, the six satchels
and the spring flowers are made into a compact par-
cel and held secure by the aid of a broad rubber band.
This production "load" is suspended from a headless
nail driven into the chair back. If the latter is open,
a cloth should be thrown over the chair back to ren-
der it opaque, thereby concealing the hat load.
Now the hat used is really the conjurer's own
property, being known in conjuring circles as Holmes'
"Devil of a Hat." Many entertainers w^ho are using
it proclaim it the greatest self-contained hat produc-
tion in existence. Be that as it may, this Devil of a
210 The Magic Aet
Hat certainly will mystify any audience, and espe-
cially the individual who has seen some hat loading,
and thinks he is "wise" to your own. Furthermore,
some of the productions can be made right down
among the spectators, permitting them to satisfy them-
selves that the hat is empty, the performer then con-
tinuing the production therefrom.
Of course, the hat is "planted" beforehand with
a friend, or, if this is impossible, it is placed down
front, and when the performer asks for the loan of a
hat," he "discovers" it there and proceeds with it in
the money catching trick.
In the present case, the hat is duly loaded before-
hand with, first, the large silk American flag, next
the small silk foreign flags, after which the colored
handkerchiefs are packed in on top. It will be noted
that the hat does not contain, in the beginning, all of
the articles produced. The ideal way of working the
hat production with the Devil of a Hat is to have
several other loads of more or less bulky proportions
concealed in the usual manner upon a table servante
or behind a chair back, using the load concealed in
the hat between the production of the other loads, to
enable you to show the hat perfectly empty now and
then, and then immediately . continue the mysterious
production without a suspicious movement on your
part. This arrangement makes a most perfect hat
production, and is followed in the present act.
And now for the "body loads." The cigarette
vanisher is properly adjusted under the coat in the
approved fashion; and one of the red silks is con-
cealed in the uppermost corner of the trousers' pocket
on the left hand side.
The Magic Art 211
The second red silk is packed into the ball feke
for the color change, and this ball is inserted first
into the ball tube pocket. Next above it in the tube
pocket is placed the hollow billiard ball, and then two
of the solid balls. The tube pocket is then attached
under the edge of the performer's coat. The third
solid ball, with half -shell over it, is placed in the out-
side pocket of the coat.
The blue and the white silks, rolled into a com-
pact parcel, are placed at the bend of the left elbow,
a portion of the coat sleeve being drawn over the
parcel to hold it secure, the arm being held, slightly
bent before the body, in a natural position.
The performer comes forward, puffing his
cigarette.. During his opening remarks, he removes
his handkerchief from his pocket and lightly brushes
his face. He replaces the handkerchief in his hip
pocket, which affords him the opportunity to secretly
obtain possession of the cigarette vanisher in a nat-
ural manner, and the lighted cigarette is duly van-
ished. It will be found that this latter operation can
be performed without revealing the presence of the
parcel of silks held in concealment at the bend of the
left elbow, for the left arm is kept in its bent position,
although moved freely, throughout the manipulation
of the cigarette.
■ The entertainer now draws back his right sleeve,
showing the right hand front and back. The right
hand then draws back the/ left sleeve a little way,
while a half turn is made to the left, and the right
hand secretly obtains possession of the parcel of silks
from the bend of the elbow in the act pf showing the
left hand empty. The silks are slowly materialized
212 The Magic Akt
between the joined hands, first the white, followed
by the blue ; after which the silks are drawn over the
left forearm, and the audience invited to make a choice.
The performer stands with his left side to the f ront^ for
this purpose; his right hand, under this cover, drops
to the side and secures the color change ball from the
tube pocket. I am presuming, in this description,
that the ball tube pocket is worn on the right hand
side, the subsequent multiplying of the billiard balls
being performed with the left hand; but it is to be
understood that the arrangement should be reversed
if it is more natural for the reader to multiply the
balls with his right hand.
The choice of silks being made, the silk not chosen
is thrust into the upper, outside coat pocket, and the
color change then executed with the chosen hand-
kerchief. This leaves the performer with the red silk
and the ball feke (the latter palmed) in right hand.
He now transfers both to the left, and reaching into
his right hand trousers' pocket, turns the latter inside
out. The red silk and ball feke are now taken in
the right, while the left turns the left trousers'
pocket inside out. The duplicate red silk, it
will be remembered, is pushed up in the top
corner of this latter pocket, and its presence is not
disclosed when the pocket is drawn out. When the
pocket is pushed back in place, the fingers at the same
time draw this concealed silk out of its corner, and
thrust it down into the -pocket proper. The right
hand now pushes the pocket on that side back into
place, and the visible red silk, together with the ball
feke, are then pushed into this right hand pocket:
Silk and ball are really pushed up into the top comer
The Magic Art 213
of pocket by means of the thumb, while the fingers
go to the bottom of the pocket as if pushing the silk
The performer slaps the outside of the pocket,
and cries, "Go!" Showing both hands empty, the
right hand pulls out the pocket on that side, showing
the red silk to have vanished. The left hand reaches
into its pocket and slowly draws out the (duplicate)
silk, the left side of the performer being turned to
the front for this purpose. Meanwhile, the right hand
goes to the tube pocket and secures the hollow billiard
ball. The hands are joined together, and the silk
worked into the ball, the latter then being shown as
a solid billiard ball.
Sundry passes are now executed with the (hol-
low) ball, care being taken not to reveal the hole in
same, during which passes the hollow ball is ex-
changed for the solid ball and half-shell in the coat
pocket. For instance, the hollow ball may be appar-
ently taken in the right hand, being retained in the
left by the "finger palm." The right hand, shown
empty, now follows the imaginary flight of the ball,
finally producing the solid ball, with half-shell over
it, from the coat pocket as the missing ball. While
all eyes are drawn to this pocket, the hollow ball is
gotten rid of into a convenient pocket.
The precise method for the multiplication and
subsequent dematerialization of the billiard balls is
mainly a matter of individual preference.
The egg and bag presentation has been ably de-
scribed by Christopher. When it is brought to a con-
clusion, the entertainer returns to his table and places
the bag thereon. He picks up his wand with the right
The Magic Art
hand, while the left secures the stack of coins, and this
latter hand holds the coat lapel as the performer walks
forward and "borrows" the prepared hat. The left
takes the wand, as the right receives the hat, and the
latter is shown perfectly empty.
Like the Egg and Bag Trick, the feat of catching
money in the air is another conjuring classic, and, well
performed, it never fails to elicit the greatest wonder.
The exact procedure in the trick is not always clear
to many amateurs, so I shall describe a simple method
as a basis to learn the trick, then as the performer
becomes more proficient he will no doubt find many
elaborations which may be added to strengthen the
The apparent catching of the money in the air
is accomplished by the proper execution of the ortho-
dox coin pass. It has been said that the trick also
demands plenty of nerve, but I am inclined to the opin-
The Magic Art 215
ion that dramatic ability, rather than nerve, is' the
proper requisite. When the entertainer obtains pos-
session of the stack of coins, he holds them in the left
hand in the position shown in Fig. 26. This position
of the coins is very important, for it enables the fin-
gers to "feed" the coins, one at a time, into the hat
each time the opposite hand pretends to deposit a coin
Therefore, when the performer borrows the hat
and shows it empty, he transfers it to the left hand,
which seizes it with the fingers (and coins) inside,
the thumb resting over the brim. The coins are
pressed against the sweatband and the second finger
draws down the outermost coin, ready to release it.
Now begins the search for money. As the con-
jurer moves about the stage the audience is allowed
to see that the right hand is empty. Suddenly he
grasps at the air, and then peering into his hand,
w(hich is partly closed as if containing something, he
apparently tosses the object into the hat, the left hand
bringing the latter forward to meet the approaching
right. At the psychological moment the left second
finger releases the outermost coin of the stack, and
a coin is heard to fall into the hat. The right hand
is immediately thrust into the hat and brings out the
coin, some comment being made as to its date or
origin. Again the coin is apparently tossed into the
hat, but this time it is palmed in the right, while the
left releases a second coin in the hat in place of it.
The search for money now begins in earnest. As
the entertainer nioves around the stage, he jerks the
palmed coin to his finger tips, then apparently add-
ing it to the store in the hat, which is each time sup-
216 The Magic Abt
plied from the left hand. Occasionally, the coin is
actually thrown into the hat, and the right hand
clearly shown empty; still the performer produces a
coin from his coat collar, or from the bottom of his
trouser leg. This diversion is accomplished by the
aid of a hooked coin, which is, of course, placed in
Sometimes the entertainer pushes the coin, just
caught, upward through the crown of the hat, and it
is heard to join its comrades with a merry jingle, the
coin being palmed as the right hand sweeps up to the
crown, and the left permitting another to fall in its
, place, after a slight pause, as if the coin experienced
a little difficulty in peiietrating the headgear.
Or, again, the caught coin is apparently tossed
high into the air, and, after due interval of time, is
heard to drop into the extended hat.
When the store of coins in the left hand is ex-
hausted, the performer carries the hat to the table,
and empties the money upon the plate, making a great
show of quantity.
Now the trick of picking the chosen cards from
the hat is performed, of course, by the aid of my Mas-
ter Self-Shifting Pack. I like the trick because its
effect appears simply marvelous, although accom-
plished without the slightest skill. Of course, the
sleight-of-hand expert need not resort to the use of
the prepared pack, although I am of the opinion that
the present case is one where the prepared pack is best
employed, for ail the movements are so open and above
board. When I first arranged the trick, I used the
Self-Shifting pack, but after devising my Master pack
I found the latter added to this particular trick, in
The Magic Aet 217
that the pack is first given a thorough shuffle, and
^gain after the selected cards are returned to it.
When the entertainer has successfully picked the
last chosen card from the hat, he passes such card
to the person who selected it, and removes the pack
from the hat and places the former upon his table.
Walking forward with the hat, he presently "discov-
ers" something therein, which proves to be a silk hand-
kerchief. Slowly, very slowly, he removes, one after
the other, three or four brightly colored silks from
the hat, finally going back to the chair, in order to
place the silks over its back. As is often the case,
several of the silks slip to the floor, so the conjurer
stoops to pick them up, and as he straightens his body
the load suspended behind the chair back is swept into
the hat. The hat now contains practically the entire
store of production articles, which are produced in suc-
cession as already outlined.
"The Magical Man"
This might well be called a magical phantasy for
little folks — and grown-ups too. In proper hands it
is a riot of fun from start to finish. The startling
productions and tricks with live stock please the lit-
tle folks immensely.
The curtain rises revealing several tables hold-
ing the strange paraphernalia of the Magical Man, —
an immense gold bowl heaped with confetti first
catches the eye; a large crystal jar, a stack of minia-
ture chests, .and a funny little brick wall follow as
you move the eye from one table to the other. The
music has started, of course, and before you know
it the Magical Man, himself, stands before you. He
218 The Magic Art
bows very profoundly and seizes the big gold bowl,
and scatters the confetti in a glittering shower about
the stage. Finally he claps a tray over the bowl and
inverts the latter, and when he lifts the bowl there
isn't a flake of confetti left— the tray is heaped to
overflowing with big blossoms of gorgeous hues. And
almost before you remember what becomes of the
flowers on the tray, the Magical Man is tossing flags
of every conceivable nation out of the Wonderful
Bowl, and presently he claps the bowl mbuth down-
ward on the table, and lifts it, revealing a flock of
doves. And then more flowers gush from the bowl,
until the supply seems utterly inexhaustible.
"The Fairies' Wonderful Bowl!',' explains the
Magical Man, as he concludes this marvelous perform-
ance. "How many of you little folks believe in fairies ?
Well, there seems to be a lot of you. I am glad to
see that, because I am going to s'now you a lot of their
doings this evening, providing tftey are in the mood.
Let me show you this Magic Carpet."
The Carpet rests upon the table, and the con-
jurer picks it up and turns it this way and that, so
tha;t both sides are repeatedly shown, and even the
edges, calling attention to the peculiar weave of the
fabric — "It isn't much to look at — ^just an ordinary
old carpet in appearance, but there's truly magic in
The Carpet is obviously devoid of trickery —
surely nothing could well be concealed in its thin sides ;
and yet — ^the Magical Man folds it in 'half, a little
girl makes a wish over it, and — lo, and behold ! — a real,
live rabbit is shaken out of the Carpet!
But the Magical Man is not yet through. Where
The Magic Aet
there are rabibts it is always possible to get a few
Easter Eggs, for how are Easter Eggs found in all
sorts of unexpected places if Bunny doesn't have
something to do with them? Anybody knows that!
So the Magical Man takes Mr. Bunny and puts him in
a brown paper sack. Any other kind of a sack, you
understand, won't do at all. And he puts Mr. Bunny
and the sack into a big Crystal Jar, and claps the lid
on. After what seems a very long time, especially
when you are right on edge to know what is going
to happen, the Magical Man removes the lid, pulls out
Mr. Bunny's brown paper sack, and empties out of
it a whole lot of brightly colored Easter Eggs ! The
rabbit is.n't in the bag, either, because the Magical
Man tossed it right out in the audience.
He continues, "Of course, you have all heard of
Humpty Dumpty — the chap that sat on a wall. Well,
perhaps you didn't notice this distinguished fellow
among these eggs. At any rate, here he is!" He
220 The Magic Abt
holds up to view an egg with the face of no less a per-
sonage upon it than Humpty Dumpty himself.
"What a solemn looking fellow! Can't you
smile? No? Well, then, I'll have to tickle you," pass-
ing his hand over Humpty's face, when the latter's
countenance instantly assumes a very, pleasant expres-
sion. "We'll put old man Humpty here on this wall,"
placing the egg on the miniature brick wall on one of
the side tables. "What was that verse about him?
Does anybody know? Oh, yes —
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses and all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty up again !"
The egg suddenly rolls off the brick 'wall and
crashes to the floor,
"There!" exclaims the Magical Man. "What did
I tell you? Now what are we going to do-'about it?"
He picks up the unfortunate Humpty from the
floor. "You will recall that 'all the king's horses,
and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty up on the
wall again;' but it could have been accorflpHshed in
the good old days if they had just resort^ to a little
Magic, and I am going to prove my assertion. If
some little lady will just make a -good wish for poor
old Humpty over her handkerchief, and let me take
it, I think we shall soon have him back again in his
A little girl makes a mental wish over her hand-
kerchief, and gives the latter to the entertainer. He
slips the battered Humpty into a. glass on the table,
The Magic Art 221
and covers the glass with his own pocket handker-
chief. "Now we have Humpty all snug in the hos-
pital. I want that little girl to stand up and repeat
a few words after me." The Magical Man places the
covered glass on the table, and holds the borrowed
Handkerchief between his joined hands. "I want you
to say, 'Handkerchief fly into the glass and make
Humpty well again — Humpty fly out of the glass into
the Magical Man's hands.' "
The entertainer rubs the handkerchief between
his palms until it disappears from sight, and when
the little girl repeats the above words, he opens his
hands revealing — Humpty Dumpty all well again!
The handkerchief has vanished! The covering is re-
moved from the glass, and the little girl's handker-
chief found to have passed invisibly therein, as com-
"You can see for yourselves what a little Magic
would have done for the king," says the Magical Man.
"Humpty is not only smiling, but he feels so 'good
he wants to stand on his head," and the egg is forth-
with balanced on its pointed end on the very top of
the little brick wall.
"Let me tell you about little Johnny Green. The
most important thing about Johnny was, that he had
a grandmother who made just about the finest ginger
snaps that ever were made. How many of you folks
ever had a grandmother? Hold up your hands.
That's funny. I notice quite a lot of you that never
had a grandmother. Now that's too bad. Well, be
that as it may, Johnny Green's grandmother made
such remarkable ginger snaps that it got to the point
where she couldn't keep any of them in the cookie box
222 The Magic Art
at all; they invariably disappeared. Not that any-
body suspected Johnny, of course; but the ginger
snaps were forever leaving the box, and this set
grandmother to thinking. You know when grand-
mothers set to thinking, something usually comes of
it. Let me show you just what Johnny's grandmother
"First she told Johnny that he was never to tilt
the lid of the cookie box without her special permis-
sion, and then she fixed things so that she could tell
if anybody disobeyed her. She had three little boxes
that looked exactly alike. As a matter of fact, these
are the identical three boxes. I will show them to
The Magical Man brings the three boxes down
to the audience on a tray, and he shows that one box
contains tea, another coffee berries, and the third
and rajost important box of all is filled to the brim
with real old-fashioned ginger snaps! He shows a
long tube which he calls a "chim,ney," that just fits
over the three boxes when they are stacked in a pile.
When he returns to the stage, he places the boxes and
tube on the table, and continues:
"Now grandmother had a very clever idea — or
what she thought was a clever idea, with respect to
her ginger snaps. She put them on the bottom of the
stack, with the tea caddy next and the coffee on top,
and then she put the chimney over the whole thing.
The first chance Johnny had to get into the pantry
unobserved, he lifted the chimney — like this — and
looked into the boxes. It didn't take him long to dis-
cover the ginger snaps in the bottom box, but just as
he was about to fill his pockets, he heard footsteps
The Magic Art 223
approaching, so he dropped the boxes, helterskelter,
back into the tube, like this. He didn't have time to
arrange them in their previous order, and the cookie
box went in on top; but when he got outside and
thought it over, it occurred to him that it was a pretty
lucky thing for him that the cookie box was on the
top, for all he had to do was to slip into the pantry,
snatch up that top box and make way with it be-
fore grandmother could catch him.
"So he hung around the pantry window* to see
if grandmother had been to the boxes, but they were
exactly as he had left them. Presently he stole back
into the pantry and again lifted the cover. He
grabbed the top box, but it didn't feel, somehow, like
the cookie box, so he stopped to peep into it. Would
you believe it? See, the top box contains the coffee
berries, the next box the tea, and here on the bottom
are the ginger snaps, in their accustomed place. To
say it plainly, it got Johnny's goat !
"He decided to put the boxes back in the chim-
ney, — first the tea, then the coffee, and the cookie box
again on top. He watched again, but no one went
near the pantry, so he again stole, in and lifted the
tube. Watch! Again the coffee berries are in the
top box, the tea in the second, and the cookies in the
bottom box! It fairly made Johnny's hair stand on
end, I can tell you ! But he had no idea of giving up
the ginger snaps! No, sir! Instead, he emptied
them — every single one of them — into this tumbler,
for instance; and then to cover up his deception he
slipped an egg in the box where the ginger snaps had
been. Then he quickly dumped the boxes back into
the cover — ^first the cookie box containing the egg;
224 The Magic Art
then the tea and finally the coffee; and hiding the
ginger snaps, under his coat, — I'll use this handker-
chief to represent Johnny's coat, — he ran off to enjoy
his ill-gotten gain.
"I guess most of you know what happens to little
,boys who rob their grandmother's cookie box. Well,
I want to show you what happened to Johnny Green.
When he got by himself, he opened his coat, and in-
stead of having the ginger snaps, the fairies had
changed them into the e^s'' the performer uncover-
ing the glass and showing the egg therein instead of
the ginger snaps. "And when we lift the chimney,
and examine the boxes, we find coffee in the top box,
tea in the next, and — yes, here are the ginger snaps
all snug in the bottom box as before. So, you see, it
doesn't pay to try to steal grandmother's cookies."
For the next experiment the entertainer's assist-
ant brings forward a bottle and two glasses on a tray,
and places them on the table.
"This old black bottle belonged to my grandfather,
but I don't want you to think any the less of him on
that account. Grandfather was a teetotaler, and he
never kept anything in this bottle stronger than root
beer, or ginger ale, or something of that sort. I found
it while rummaging the attic, and it's got some of
grandfather's famous root beer in it still." To a boy
in the front row, "I want you to have a glass with me :
come right up." The entertainer fills two glasses
from the bottle, and offers one to the boy. Both
"That's some root beer," says the performer, then
suddenly turning to the boy he exclaims, "My good-
ness, but you look pale! Aren't you feeling well?
The Magic Art 225
How's that? The root beer tastes queer? . Come to
think of it, it doesn't taste exactly right. Sit down
in this chair a minute."
A chair is pushed forward, and the boy sits down.
The instant his weight touches the chair, the latter
collapses and falls to the floor with a terrific explo-
sion; and as the boy scrambles to his feet the chair
instantly resumes its former upright position. The
entertainer hastens to apologize, brushing off the boy's
"It's bad enough to drink something that disa-
grees with you, without sitting down on an unobliging
chair. Are you feeling better ? You still look rather
pale around the eyes. But I can fix you up all right,
never fear." .
The Magical Man brings forward from the table
three articles : a large funnel, a brad-awl, and one of
the glasses. He stations the boy with his right side
to the audience, and places the glass on the floor in
front of him. He bares the youth's left arm well
back above the elbow, and apparently punctures the
arm by the aid of the awl. He then places the boy's
elbow in the funnel, and working the arm up and
down, pump-handle fashion, extracts through the fun-
nel the supposedly troublesome fluid, which is caught
in the glass on the floor.
"There you are," assures the entertainer, com-
pleting the operation; "you are as good as new. I
wonder what is really in that bottle." He goes over
to the table and picks up the bottle. "Now that I
think of it, the stuff did taste queer. We'll investi-
He taps the bottle all round with a small hammer.
226 The Magic Art
completely shattering it, and revealing the true con-
tents of the bottle in the shape of a white rat, wnich
is very much alive!
For the closing feature of the entertainment, the
tables are set to one side, and a miniature "Noah's
Ark," consisting of a rectangular box with ends added
to it which curve upward, boat-like, is brought on the
stage and rested upon two wooden trestles. The
Magical Man lets down the ends of the Ark, and the
front and back lids, revealing the skeleton frame of
the structure. The front and back lids are then
closed, and the ends again swung up into place. Sev-
eral pails of water are brought on by the assistant,
and a funnel inserted in an aperture in, the upper cor-
ner, by which means the water is poured into the
Ark, as a representation of the flood. When it is ap-
parently .filled with water, the exit of the animals
from the Ark begins. The small windows in its front
are opened, and pigeons, guinea pigs, rabbits and
ducks are taken out and turned loose on the stage.
All of the occupants of the Ark are perfectly dry> and
it is wondered how they are all contained in an in-
closure the size of the Ark. Finally, the front and
back lids of the Ark are again opened, revealing the
interior perfectly dry, as in the beginning, no trace
of the water being apparent.
The Magical Man bows; the curtain falls.
The duration of this novel act is about one hour,
but much depends lipon the rapidity of its perform-
ance, patter, etc. Very little explanation will suffice
to make its inner workings clear, for much of it either
has been explained in the foregoing pages, or vrill be
familiar to the magical entertainer.
The Magic Art 227
The requisites and preparation follow:
A center table provided with a bag servante.
Two side stands with Black Art tops and draped,
one stand being provided with a shelf servante.
The Wang Foo Production Bowl.
The Carpet from Bagdad.
Crystal Mirror Jar.
Two brown paper bags.
Six or eight eggs dyed or painted "Easter style"
in bright colors.
A deep soup plate.
An egg half -shell of celluloid to fit over one com-
plete side of any medium-sized egg. On the convex
surface of this half-shell is painted the sober coun-
tenance of Humpty Dumpty, as depicted in Fig. 27.
This is easily done with a small line brush.
A medium-sized real egg, hard boiled, fitting
loosely into the above half-shell. On one of its sides
is painted the smiling countenance of Humpty Dumpty,
as in Fig. 28.
A medium-sized celluloid egg resembling the hard
boiled egg in general appearance, also painted with
the smiling countenance of Humpty Dumpty. This
egg is further prepared to the extent that an opening
has been made in its broader end, and somebird shot
and melted paraffine (or similar substance) run into
the pointed end of the egg, so that it is sufficiently
weighted to insure the balancing of the egg on that
end, like the proverbial "egg of Columbus."
A miniature brick wall, measuring nine inches
long by four inches high, or thereabouts. This is
simply a piece of board painted to represent minia-
ture red brick, which are outlined with white lines
228 The Magic Art
as the "mortar." The board is nailed on edge to a
narrow base board, while its upper edge has several
slight depressions hollowed out for the reception of
an egg stood on end.
A bottomless glass.
The Tea Chests of Wang Foo, adapted in the
present act to the "Grandmother's Cookie Box" trick.
A perusal of both tricks will make the latter version
A Windecker Dove Bottle, two glasses, a tray, and
a small hammer.
Holmes' Trick Chair.
A Magic Funnel and Brad-awl.
The Noah's Ark illusion. For our present use
this illusion made in miniature size will answer every
purpose; say with a body length of two and one-half
feet, exclusive of the end pieces, and proportionate
in height. In designing . this small Ark I have pro-
vided for the water by means of a "self-contained"
arrangement, which does away with the necessity of
running the water off into a receptacle situated under
the stage; thereby making the illusion suitable for
presentation on any platform or stage, and even in
In this case, the platform, or bottom, of the Ark
consists of a hollow metal container, concealed by the
cabinet frame, and accommodating two or three pails
of water. The supporting rods of the cabinet are in
fact hollow tubes, one of which opens at its lower
end into the tank in the bottom of the. Ark; and it is
into the upper, open end of this tube that the funnel
is inserted when the pails of water are about to be
emptied, apparently, into the Ark,
The Magic Art . 229
The boat-shaped end pieces conceal most of the
smaller live stock, such as pigeons, guinea pigs, small
rabbits, etc., and instead of concealing a lady assist-
ant on the inner side of the rear lid of the cabinet, for
the finale of the illusion, as is customary in the ortho-
dox version of the Noah's Ark, I substitute in the min-
iature Ark a flat, box-like container which is fastened
to the inner side of the rear lid, for the accommoda-
tion of several ducks.
In setting up the act, the Carpet from Bagdad
is laid on the side stand on the conjurer's right hand,
the load for t^^e carpet consisting of a small rabbit that
will go into one side of the crystal mirror jar.
The large production bowl is duly loaded with
flowers, several doves, and the flags of different na-
tions, after which the bowl is heaped with vari-colored
confetti, and placed on the Carpet from Bagdad on
the right hand side stand.
On the center table are neatly arranged, the tray
holding the three boxes for the "Grandmother's Cookie
Box" trick, and the tall chimney cover. The fourth .
box used for this trick is hidden behind any small box
or basket of sufficient size to conceal it. Also on
the center table are placed one of the brown paper
bags; the crystal mirror jar, which has hidden behind
the mirror partition, the duplicate brown paper bag
containing the colored Easter eggs; the bottomless
glass; the deep soup plate, whiph contains the hard
boiled Humpty Dumjpty egg, with the half-shell over
it, and the miniature brick wall.
The side stand on the conjurer's left is the Black
Art stand prepared for the secret exchange of tum-
blers in the "Cookie Box" trick. To be more explicit.
230 The Magic Art
a small tumbler is in view on thi^ stand, while a dupli-
cate tumbler, containing an egg* is hidden in the small
well at the front of the table, being further concealed
by the presence of a handkerchief thrown over this
corner of the table. ^
The celluloid Humpty Pumpty egg is concealed
about the performer's person so as to be readily ob-
The trick chair, duly loaded with a blank cart-
ridge, is placed between the right hand side stand
and center table; and the magic funnel and bradTawl
are placed on the seat of this chair.
Off stage, the conjurer's assistant has the dove
bottle and two glasses in readiness upon a tray. The re-
ceptacle in the neck of the bottle contains a little root
beer, or any suitable beverage, and the neck is off
the bottle in readiness for the insertion of the white
rat. The miniature Noah's Ark is also in readiness
for "loading," but the assistant does not put the live
stock into the Ark until about the time the performer
begins the trick with the bottle and funnel.
The actual presentation of the act will no doubt
be clear by a careful perusal of the foregoing pages;
but a little detailed explanation of the egg trick may,
be found helpful.
When the entertainer places Ijhe rabbit in the pa-
per bag and deposits both in the crystal jar, he picks
*It win be found in analyzing this ^ct, that the logical egg
to use in the "Cookie Box" trick is the weighted Humpty
Dumpty egg, which has apparently been restored and balanced
"upside down," .on the little brick wall a few moments before!
It therefore follows that the duplicate egg in this hidden tum-
bler should be still another Humpty Dumpty with the "smiling"
countenance.' The fact that- this egg is decorated with a "face"
only adds to the mystery of the "Cookie Box" trick
The Magic Art 231
up the latter and gives it the necessary half turn
as he swings round to bring it forward, thus bringing
the bag of eggs to the front. Having thus apparently
transformed the bunny into the brightly colored eggs,
the latter are emptied from the bag into the' soup plate,
on top of the Humpty Dumpty egg and shell already
there. The entertainer carries the plate of eggs into
the audience, and passes them out to his juvenile spec-
tators as souvenirs of his performance. When he has
about emptied the plate, he "discovers" no less a per-
sonage than Humpty Dumpty himself. He picks up
egg and shell together, as one, exhibiting Humpty with
the very sober countenance. In a moment the oppo-
site hand is passed over Humpty's face, and the half-
shell palmed off, revealing Humpty changed to a gen-
ial mood. This egg is passed round foi: examination,
while the performer slips the half -shell under his vest
or into a convenient pocket.
Returning to the stage, Humpty is deposited on
top of the brick wall, the latter being placed close to
the front edge of the table, so that when the egg fails
to balance and rolls off, it goes to the floor. Having
the egg hard boiled eliminates any possible disagree-
able feature in the trick, apd the egg strikes the floor
with just the proper sound to convey the impression
that "Humpty had a great fall."
The smashed egg is picked up and slipped into the
bottomless glass, which is held in the left hand, and
covered over with the entertainer's own pocket hand-
kerchief; and as he places the covered glass upon the
table he permits the egg to fall through the tumbler
into his hand, and slips it into a Black Art well.
A little girl is now requested to make a wish oyer
232 The Magic Art
her, handkerchief, which the performer then takes,
meanwhile palming the weighted Humpty Dumpty
from his pocket. The hands are joined together, and
the handkerchief duly transformed into the egg by the
simple process of rolling the handkerchief into a com-
pact parcel, which is palmed off and the egg exhib-
ited. The latter is balanced upon its small end on the
brick wall, to show Humpty's delight at his recovery ;
and when the covered glass is brought forward, the
palmed borrowed handkerchief is inserted through
the lower opening, and therefore duly found therein.
The up "to date entertainer can put this Humpty
Dumpty trick to many good uses. The faces are
easily painted on the eggs if the lines shown in the
photographs are followed.
The Magic Art 233
The Kansas City
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234 , The Magic Art
Apparatus De Luxe
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3601 CHURCHVILLE, NEW YORK
TH£ HADJPK&'lCrilEF STORD from p 115 of
uonald Hanes THE HaGIG
Maji produces some brightly colored silks -
These are arranged over a chair back or across
front edge of a table. Performer now goes to
audience wi1h a number of small cards, each bearing
the name of some color, such as red, blue, green,
etc. Cards are shovn casually to be all different,
and a spectator invited to select one, note J;he
color written on it, and then place the card in
his pocket. Performer returns to stage, gathers
up the different colored silks, passes them either
to an assistant or a spectator, who bunches them
in his hands.
'4agi now introduces the sword. Assumes a fencing
attitude, facing the one holding the silks; at
the count of three the silks are tossed into the
air; the maji lunges into the falling silks, and
steps forward with one of the silks impaled on
the sword tip. The spectator who selected the
color c'ird verifies the color of the silk caught
on the sword.
Method: The particular color is forced on the
specatator, the lower section of the packet of
cards bearing different dolor words, while the
top section has the same color written on sose
number of the cards. Beforehand the forced silk
is placed in the sword; a duplicate silk is among
the ones displayed. As he picics up the silks
from the table the forced silk is placed in a
pull and vanished while he is in the process of
picking up the silks, showing them again, etc.